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Winter 2012 ~ Volume VI WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society © All Rights Reserved


The Journal of the WILDCAT CONSERVATION LEGAL AID SOCIETY is published by the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, Washington, DC. Copyright Š 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Journal of the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, Winter 2012, Vol. VI


NOTA BENE The Journal of the WILDCAT CONSERVATION LEGAL AID SOCIETY (Journal) is published semi-annually by the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society. The Journal provides a unique forum for professionals and scholars to analyze and comment on the issues affecting wildcats around the world, reflecting the perspectives of all disciplines including law, education, medicine, science, philosophy, religion, humanities, social science, and art. Information on current topics, submission guidelines, and deadlines is available on our website at: The Journal is reviewed by the Board of Directors of the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society and by our Legal Editor. Research, commentaries, opinions, views, and content expressed and contained in the articles published in the Journal are those of the contributing authors and not of the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, its Board of Directors, or staff. No compensation is paid to the authors in exchange for publication. The Journal is published in a specialty-licensed electronic format. Disseminating this feature in any manner is strictly prohibited. Disseminating the Journal in whole or part and reprinting or republishing it on the Internet or in any other form is also strictly prohibited. Queries related to reprinting and republishing articles contained in the Journal should be sent to Soft-bound copies of the Journal are available via a yearly subscription (two consecutive volumes) for US$50.00. Subscriptions may be purchased on our website or by mailing a check to WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, 1725 I Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006.


iv Journal of the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, Winter 2012, Vol. VI


Journal of the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, Winter 2012, Vol. VI




vi Journal of the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, Winter 2012, Vol. VI


Journal of the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, Winter 2012, Vol. VI






Stephen T. Garnett, Liana N. Joseph, James E. M. Watson & Kerstin K. Zander



David Western, Samantha Russell & Innes Cuthill



Chinmaya S. Rathore, Yogesh Dubey, Anurag Shrivast, Prasad Pathak & Vinayak Patil



Kausik Banerjee, Yadvendradev V. Jhala, Kartikeya S. Chauhan & Chittranjan V. Dave





Journal of the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, Winter 2012, Vol. VI




PREFACE “No one from the government explained how the wolves were supposed to know not to leave the area.” 1 In taking all of our combined education and professional experience into consideration, we concluded that wildcats—big cats—follow their own set of rules; rules they define by their physical being, environment, habitat, and nature. We are all fairly certain that the lions in Africa and the tigers in Asia are not subscribers to The Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal. Yet we continue to project our global politics and economics on them; much in the same way as we equate born and raised in captivity with sanctimonious domestication; voiding them of their wildness. The big cats remind us though despite our best efforts that they are what they are—wild predators— formidable beings in their own right. We also agree that when the big cats make their assessment of humans they more than likely hold us in contempt, see us as a nuisance with a touch of distain, and a rather distasteful but nonetheless possible food source. In Dominion, by Matthew Scully and Rewilding the World, by Caroline Fraser, both authors take a startling and at times horrifying in-depth look into the whys and wherefores of how animals, wild and domestic, are not only perceived by humans, but the countless atrocities we bestow upon them based on and justified by skewed religious, ethical, political and economic views, and in the latter work, 1




Journal of the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, Winter 2012, Vol. VI

why our countless efforts and the unaccountable loss of millions of donated dollars to restore wild populations of many animal species was and is, to speak plainly and figuratively, a big fat human failure. Why when it comes to saving and preserving critical habitats and wildlife does it result in a [human] conscious need for failure? When we hear notions such as wildlife must pay for itself as a “conservation theory,� when we are told a hungry wildcat preys upon cattle to eat and feed its young must then pay with its own life; when, like the wolves who were not told to stay in one place or else, likewise the wildcats were never informed that there is a huge difference (a life or death difference) between the animals that are up for grabs and those that have a golden bar code, we take pause; pause because these politico/econom conservation theories defy logic, defy nature, defy humanity and are ludicrous. And why when there are infinite numbers of global non-profit and non-governmental aid agencies working to save humanity, wildlife and lands, with millions [strike that] billions of hard earned dollars being blindly donated everyday handed over to nowhere in order to save the last forty wild tigers in China, is the conservation message always on the very brink of total collapse? And yet these same individuals and organizations were and are conducting research, taking surveys, writing books, capturing the last wildcats on film, conducting lectures, entertaining politicians, churning out public relations puffery (fact or fiction) and still the situation is worse than it ever was. Why is there no sign of improvement? Why is there no accountability? Where is the money going? Who is profiting from all this conservation? Well it is certainly not the lions, certainly not the tigers, certainly not the people of




rural communities attempting to valiantly coexist with our fellow creatures peacefully. In this issue of the Journal, we compiled several articles that grapple with these very issues: from investing in conservation programs despite political corruption to the population status of protected versus unprotected areas— from living and coexisting with lions in the Gir forest to opportunities for habitat connectivity and the relevance of complying with international trade directives. What we learn is that while there have been many conservation mistakes in our not so distance past; there is a small but nonetheless salvageable glimmer of hope. The economists, scientists, field biologists and philosophers tend to agree that if we stop and look at nature; really look, it will do what needs to be done to repair the damage we’ve caused through human politics and economics. We may be able to un-ring the bell. The bottom line is there is real value in preserving all of our natural resources. If not, we will inevitably reach the path of no return and it will not matter how much we will it to be, or how much value we place on it. It will, plainly and figuratively, be too late.



Investing in Threatened Species Conservation: Does Corruption Outweigh Purchasing Power?



Research Institute for Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia †† Global Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Society, New York; The Ecology Centre, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia

Abstract In many sectors, freedom in capital flow has allowed optimization of investment returns through choosing sites that provide the best value for money. These returns, however, can be compromised in countries where corruption is prevalent. We assessed where the best value for money might be obtained for investment in threatened species that occur at a single site, when taking into account corruption. We found that the influence of corruption on potential investment decisions was outweighed by the likely value for money in terms of pricing parity. Nevertheless global conservation is likely to get best returns in terms of threatened species security by investing in “honest” countries than in corrupt ones, particularly those with a high cost of living.

Introduction In 2008 the operating expenditure of the four largest ∗

This study was originally published in PLoS ONE 6(7) (2011). Formatting and references were changed to the style and citation requirements of WILDCAT CONSERVATION LEGAL AID SOCIETY.

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international conservation organizations topped US$1 billion: The Nature Conservancy $616 million, 1 Wildlife Conservation Society $205 million, 2 WWF International $161 million,3 and Conservation International $144 million.4 While this is only a fraction of what is needed, 5 the total is substantial when considered together with the many other government, nongovernment and business investments in conservation. This can have a substantial benefit for local economies, particularly in rural and remote areas where many of the world's poor coexist with conservation assets. In many ways, therefore, foreign investment (FDI) for conservation investment might be expected to operate along lines similar to other FDI. Multi-country studies of FDI suggest that investment flows are influenced first by the presence of assets, such as natural resources or human capacity. Given the presence of such assets, decisions are then based around a range of financial and governance considerations such as cost of labor, tax concessions, government stability, internal and external conflict, corruption and ethnic tensions, law and order, democratic accountability of government, and quality of bureaucracy. 6 Such motivations resemble the criteria for prioritizing investment in conservation assets: 7 providing greatest support to the most threatened conservation values and supporting conservation in countries 1

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY CONSOLIDATED 2008 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (as of June 30, 2009). 2 WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY ANNUAL REPORT, at 65 (2008). 3 WORLD WILDLIFE FUND INTERNATIONAL ANNUAL REPORT 2008: FUNDING AND FINANCIAL OVERVIEW, available at alinfo/2008fundingandfinancialoverview.html, (last accessed July 15, 2010). 4 CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL: CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION AND AFFILIATES 2008 CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL REPORT, at 24 (as of June 30, 2009). 5 A. BALMFORD, ET AL., Global Variation in Terrestrial Conservation Costs: Conservation Benefits and Unmet Conservation Needs, 100 PROCEEDINGS NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE 1046–1050 (2003); A. N. JAMES, ET AL., Balancing the Earth's Accounts, 401 NATURE 323–324 (1999). 6 M. BUSSE & C. HEFEKER, Political Risk, Institutions and Foreign Direct Investment, 23 EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY 397–415 (2007). 7 K. A. WILSON, ET AL., Prioritizing Global Conservation Efforts, 440 NATURE 337–340 (2006); K. A. WILSON, ET AL., Conserving Biodiversity Efficiently: What to Do, Where, and When, 5(9) PLoS Biology e223 (2007).

Investing in Threatened Species Conservation: Does Corruption Outweigh Purchasing Power?


where the likelihood of success is highest, as evidenced by factors such as strong political support for conservation, 8 supportive legislation and enforcement,9 low corruption and matching funding at appropriate levels. 10 While there has been a significant push to start incorporating cost into conservation plans, 11 no study to our knowledge has simultaneously considered the cost-effectiveness of conservation decisions and the consequences of corruption costs. Corruption manifests itself in various ways including embezzlement of funds, demanding of bribes for compliance, patronage or political influence and acceptance of bribes to overlook illegal activities.12 This can reduce the effectiveness of conservation programs by reducing the financial resources, law enforcement and political support available for conservation13 as well as acting as an incentive for the overexploitation of resources 14 and delaying environmental recovery. 15 Effectively corruption can stifle effective investment in conservation just as it does investment in


N. MYERS, Lifting the Veil on Perverse Subsidies, 392 NATURE 327–28 (1998). N. LEADER-WILLIAMS, ET AL., Designing Protected Areas to Conserve Natural Resources, 74 SCIENCE PROGRESS 189–204 (1990). 10 A. G. BRUNER, ET AL., Financial Costs and Shortfalls of Managing and Expanding Protected-Area Systems in Developing Countries, 54 BIOSCIENCE: 1119–26 (2004). 11 H. P. POSSINGHAM, ET AL., Making Smart Conservation Decisions, RESEARCH PRIORITIES FOR CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 225-244 (G. Orians & M. Soulé, eds., 2001); M. BODE, ET AL., The Cost of Conservation, 321 SCIENCE 340 (2008); M. A. MCCARTHY, ET AL., Optimal Investment in Conservation of Species, 45 JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY 1428–35 (2008); L. N. JOSEPH, ET AL., Optimal Allocation of Resources among Threatened Species: A Project Prioritization Protocol, 23 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 328–38 (2009). 12 J. DAVIS, Corruption in Public Service Delivery: Experience from South Asia's Water and Sanitation Sector, 32 WORLD DEVELOPMENT 53–71 (2004). 13 R. DAMANIA, ET AL., Trade Liberalization, Corruption, and Environmental Policy Formation: Theory and Evidence, 46 JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT 490–512 (2003). 14 R. J. SMITH & M. J. WALPOLE, Should Conservationists Pay More Attention to Corruption? 39 ORYX 251–56 (2005). 15 R. LÓPEZ & S. MITRA, Corruption, Pollution, and the Kuznets Environment Curve, 40 JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT 137–50 (2000). 9

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economic growth. 16 It is also seen as one of the major impediments to conservation in tropical countries.17 However, poor countries can offer a better return on investment than those with a high cost of living. 18 And although there is a strong correlation, 19 poor countries are not necessarily corrupt nor are rich countries honest. Just as the freedom of movement of global capital has encouraged investment in countries with low labor and other costs, 20 global conservation capital can potentially receive greater dividends in terms of effective management through investment in poorer countries. More Endemic Bird Areas, biodiversity hotspots and other high priority terrestrial eco-regions occur in countries containing lower governance scores than in countries without such conservation assets. 21 Single site threatened species (SSTS), the 20% of the 4,239 threatened mammals, birds, tortoises and turtles, and amphibians listed by the IUCN that are dependent for their survival on conservation at single sites in the short- to medium term, 22 are more evenly spread around the globe. This gives a wider choice for potential investments making it possible to maximize efficiency of conservation investment, although such investment choices could require trade-offs that may include 16

S-J WEI, Local Corruption and Global Capital Flows, 31 BROOKINGS PAPERS ON ECONOMIC ACTIVITY 303–54 (2000). 17 G. CEBALLOS, ET AL., Conservation Challenges for the Austral and Neotropical America Section, 23 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 811–17 (2008); N. S. SODHI, ET AL., The State and Conservation of Southeast Asian Biodiversity, 19 BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION 317–328 (2009). 18 A. BALMFORD & T. WHITTEN, Who Should Pay for Tropical Conservation, and How Could the Costs Be Met? 37 ORYX 238–250 (2003). 19 W. F. LAURENCE, The Perils of Payoff: Corruption as a Threat to Global Biodiversity, 19 TRENDS IN ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION 399–401 (2004). 20 W. N. COOKE, The Effects of Labour Costs and Workplace Constraints on Foreign Direct Investment among Highly Industrialized Countries, 12 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 697–716 (2001); J. KONINGS & A. P. MURPHY, Do Multinational Enterprises Relocate Employment to Low-wage Regions? Evidence from European Multinationals, 142 REVIEW OF WORLD ECONOMICS 267–86 (2006). 21 R. J. SMITH, ET AL., Governance and the Loss of Biodiversity, 426 NATURE 67– 70 (2003). 22 C. BOYD, ET AL., Spatial Scale and the Conservation of Threatened Species, 1 CONSERVATION LETTERS 37–43 (2008).

Investing in Threatened Species Conservation: Does Corruption Outweigh Purchasing Power?


extinction, 23 if funds are insufficient. All SSTS live in places that are irreplaceable. Thus minimizing costs by optimizing choice of sites is not possible. 24 In this paper we explore the trade-offs between corruption and financial return on conservation investment for single site threatened species. We also explore the influence of potential conservation cost on efficient investment decisions, recognizing that some species are more expensive to conserve than others but considering all to be equally worthy of conservation.

Results The choice of country in which to invest funds for conserving single site threatened species (SSTS) varied substantially depending on the relative influence of number of SSTS, purchasing power parity (PPP) or the potential for corruption on investment decisions. Predictably the cheapest and most corrupt are largely very poor while the more expensive but more honest are relatively wealthy, or are possessions of wealthy nations. However, the ten countries that rank highest when both corruption and purchasing power are considered are all such poor nations that the value of the dollar renders corruption affordable (TABLE 1). These ten lie along the right side of the corruption/purchasing power data cloud (FIGURE 1). The level of corruption affects the investment priorities only when the number of SSTS present in the country is considered. Thus, among the 23 countries with a single SSTS, Ghana ranks higher than many poorer countries because of its relative honesty. Similarly, among the ten countries ranked highest for number of SSTS, New Zealand, with the lowest level of corruption, ranks highest because, though relatively expensive, it has the best corruption index score of any country. 23

M. BOTTRILL, ET AL., Is Conservation Triage Just Smart Decision-Making? 23 TRENDS IN ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION 649–654 (2008). 24 J. CARWADINE, ET AL., Cost-Effective Priorities for Global Mammal Conservation, 105 PROCEEDINGS NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE 11446–50 (2008).

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FIGURE 1. Corruption Index and Purchasing Power Parity for countries with Single Site Threatened Species (filled markers indicate the ten countries giving greatest returns on investment).

TABLE 1. Highest and lowest ranking countries for investment in Single Site Threatened Species prioritized against different criteria.

Investing in Threatened Species Conservation: Does Corruption Outweigh Purchasing Power?


We found that a strategy that prioritizes investment solely on the basis of the purchasing power of the dollar accumulates conservation investment rapidly whereas one that minimizes losses to corruption has a lower accumulation rate that is closely associated with the number of SSTS in a country (FIGURE 2). If only half the required funds are available, 349 species across 36 countries will have been managed (i.e. threats ameliorated to enhance probability of persistence) if corruption minimization is used as the main priority for funding whereas 498 species in 43 countries will have been managed if value for money is the sole criteria (TABLE 2). When the number of SSTS in a country is the only driver of investment, the returns on investment rise steadily on a trajectory between the other two because the number of SSTS is spread among countries with a variety of corruption index and purchasing power parity (PPP) scores. Because value of the dollar is so much more influential than corruption on potential investment strategies, the efficient strategy that balances corruption index and PPP is virtually indistinguishable from PPP alone. Thus the countries that would ostensibly give the greatest returns on investment in SSTS based on the value of the dollar after corruption are also considered among the poorest in the world (FIGURE 3). FIGURE 2. Cumulative number of Single Site Threatened Species (SSTS) prioritized on the basis of number of species (n); purchasing power parity (PPP); corruption index (CI), CI*PPP, CI*PPP*n against the proportion of the total funds required to maintain all SSTS ((n*CI*PPP)/ÎŁ(n*CI*PPP)). PPP and CI*PPP are virtually overlapping so only symbols are presented for CI*PPP.

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FIGURE 3. Map of priorities for funding of Single Site Threatened Species (SSTS) based on the balance between the purchasing power parity and the corruption index. Quintile colors run from dark blue (high returns on investment) through light blue, pink and red to crimson (low returns on investment). Countries in white lacked analyzed SSTS.

Investing in Threatened Species Conservation: Does Corruption Outweigh Purchasing Power?


TABLE 2. The proportion of countries receiving Single Site Threatened Species (SSTS) investments based on five investment strategies, assuming the same average cost of species management.

Discussion Conservation FDI by non-government organizations and others needs to be based on sound business principles if donors' funds are to be effective and their influence sustained. The two factors explored here, corruption and purchasing power parity, are examples of considerations that have to be made before investment occurs. Many other sustainability, equity or cost efficiency measures could be used in a similar manner to prioritize reserve acquisition, carbon retention or other conservation investments. Regardless of the conservation objective, the message is that risk associated with conservation FDI needs to be managed in the same way as that of other direct investment, even if the criteria for success of a venture might differ. For the example used here, single-site threatened species, our analyses suggest that prioritizing primarily on the basis of the potential for corruption is much less efficient than doing so on the basis of value for money. This result is supported by earlier analyses 25 with respect to protected area conservation, and is also consistent with business literature where country-specific direct costs of production are but one of a constellation of factors 25

H. P. JANICKI & P. V. WUNNAVA, Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment: Empirical Evidence from EU Accession Candidates, 36 JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECONOMICS 505–509 (2004).

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affecting investment. 26 This finding does not mean that all available SSTS funds should be spent in low income countries but that corruption levels should be less influential than PPP in any broader risk assessment. The results suggest that investment in the highest risk countries is warranted despite prevailing levels of corruption. The map in FIGURE 3 looks very different to prioritization maps based around hot spots or other combinations of threat and biodiversity. 27 While it could be argued that losses to bribery of local officials is just one aspect of corruption, with delays, opportunity costs, transaction costs associated with operating in the underground economy and uncertainty of returns on investments all adding to investment disincentives, the actual funds lost to corruption, even if bribes are paid, are relatively low compared to differences in wealth between nations. This too reflects business decisions where investment in high value resources, such as oil, coltan or diamonds, occurs despite corruption. In fact some studies have shown that a certain level of corruption increases FDI because of increased efficiency within bureaucracies,28 though other studies of the same countries over a longer period showed that corruption inhibited both growth and investment. 29 It is thus incumbent on investors to adopt corruption management strategies rather than try to avoid corruption altogether. How this is done is potentially a rich avenue of research that can also draw on the economic and development literature.30 In 26

Id.; C. SHAOMING, The Role of Labour Cost in the Location Choices of Japanese Investors in China, 85 PAPERS IN REGIONAL SCIENCE 121–138 (2006). 27 M. BODE, ET AL., Cost-Effective Global Conservation Spending is Robust to Taxonomic Group, 105 PROCEEDINGS NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE 6498– 6501 (2008). 28 P. EGGERA & H. WINNER, Evidence on Corruption as an Incentive for Foreign Direct Investment, 21 EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY 932–52 (2005). 29 P-G MÉON & K. SEKKAT, Does Corruption Grease or Sand the Wheels of Growth? 122 PUBLIC CHOICE 69–97 (2005). 30 P. RODRIGUEZ, ET AL., Government Corruption and the Entry Strategies of Multinationals, 30 ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT REVIEW 383–396 (2005);

Investing in Threatened Species Conservation: Does Corruption Outweigh Purchasing Power?


particular the more Machiavellian strategies of companies extracting finite resources over a short time period, such as bribes and mercenaries, need to be contrasted with those of companies wishing to develop a market that can provide sustained profits over extended periods. Strategies which deter corruption, such as payment of fair wages, more stringent accounting procedures and management partnerships, need to be deployed in countries with low governance scores. 31 However the existence of species that will no longer be available for investment without immediate intervention may make corruption tempting, even if their longterm maintenance, the ultimate objective of conservation, will eventually demand an entirely different approach. Perhaps conservation investment should be more closely coupled to the free trade arguments which, despite widespread criticism, have reduced poverty, 32 and improved social function and governance 33—linking conservation FDI to a raft of reforms that reduce investment inefficiencies, taking into account countryspecific negative and positive externalities that will affect conservation decisions. Certainly the wrong message will be transmitted if conservation investors reward corrupt countries simply because they are more effective at threatening their biodiversity. In this respect corruption, as well as value for money in terms of pricing parity, could still usefully be added to some of the analyses of cost-effectiveness for global prioritization. For example, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, Cuba, Indonesia and Brazil are listed as the five countries most poorly funded for the conservation of mammals in proportion to the cost of conservation. 34 Cuba, however, is less than half as corrupt as Papua New Guinea and therefore may be a much better country in GOVERNMENTS, NGOS AND ANTI-CORRUPTION: THE NEW INTEGRITY WARRIOR, 272 (L. De Sousa, et al., eds., 2009). 31 Supra, note 19; supra note 21. 32 M. KHAWAR, ET AL., Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Analysis, 5 GLOBAL ECONOMY JOURNAL 1–11(2005). 33 E. NEUMAYER & I. DE SOYSA, Trade Openness, Foreign Direct Investment and Child Labor, 33 WORLD DEVELOPMENT 43–63 (2005). 34

Supra note 24.

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which to undertake conservation. The principal message, however, is that the discrepancies in wealth, of which corruption can be a symptom as well as a cause, have the greatest potential influence on efficiency in SSTS investment. Arguably investment in the least wealthy countries with SSTS could also maximize the social benefit of threatened species investment.

Materials and Methods Countries supporting SSTS were identified from the database of the Alliance for Zero Extinction.35 Species listed as other than Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN) or Vulnerable (VU) were excluded, leaving 764 species. For each of the 85 countries included in the analysis, the PPP was determined from the ratio of the PPP conversion factor (the number of units of a country's currency required to buy the same amount of goods and services in the domestic market as a $US would buy in the United States 36 and the real exchange rate between each country's currency and the $US (as at 14 April 2010), providing the cost of the bundle of goods that make up gross domestic product (GDP) across countries (i.e. dollars needed to buy a dollar's worth of goods in the country as compared to the United States). At the time of data collection the purchasing power parity (PPP), which was standardized to the value of the US$, varied from $3.98 (Ethiopia) to $0.67 (Japan). It was thus assumed that each dollar spent on conservation action in Ethiopia, the least expensive country, could purchase just $0.17 worth of conservation action in Japan. Estimates of the money lost to corruption were based on World Bank estimates of the percentage of revenues firms pay in unofficial payments per annum to public officials. 37 This data is categorical (% firms paying <1%, 1–2%, 2–10%, 10–12%, 13– 35 THE ALLIANCE FOR ZERO EXTINCTION DATABASE, available at (last accessed July 15, 2010). 36 2007/2008 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT: 01 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX GDP INDEX, UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (2008), available at (last accessed July 15, 2010). 37 THE WORLD BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT SURVEY, THE WORLD BANK GROUP (2000), available at, (last accessed July 15, 2010).

Investing in Threatened Species Conservation: Does Corruption Outweigh Purchasing Power?


25%, >25%) which was converted to a single figure by summing the product of the maximum for each category and the percentage of firms paying in that category (the category >25% was taken as 50%, but made no difference if taken as 100% as an average of only 1% of firms paid bribes of this size). As the relevant information was only available for 58 countries, the percentage of revenue scores were correlated with governance measures for the same countries using the Control of Corruption Index of the World Bank. 38 The best fit was y = 0.2203eâ&#x2C6;&#x2019;5016x (R2 = 0.5428). We did also test the bribery estimates against a range of global datasets on governance and human development 39 using multiple OLS regression models, GLM and mixed-effects models. We tested for interactions between the explanatory variables and applied the stepwise function in the program R to obtain the best model using the AIC. However, while we were able to develop a linear regression model with an adjusted R2 of 0.592 in which the significant variables were the World Bank indicators Rule of Law, Voice and Accountability, Regulatory Quality, and Control of Corruption, and the UNDP indicators GDP per capita, PPP, Human Development Index, Life expectancy at birth and Mean years of schooling of adults, several of these variables were significant in unexpected directions and we felt that the simpler exponential relationship between the average amounts paid in bribes and the Control of Corruption Index was probably as likely to give accurate estimates of the missing values as the complex model. We were also aware that, regardless of the regression analysis used, the variation in buying power was over 30 times greater than the variation in the effects of CI so that minor variations in the missing values were unlikely to influence the final result. This equation was then used to translate the Corruption Perception Index scores of the countries with single site 38

WORLDWIDE GOVERNANCE INDICATORS, THE WORLD BANK GROUP (2010), available at, (last accessed July 15, 2010). 39 Id.; INTERNATIONAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS, UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (2010), available at, (last accessed July 15, 2010).

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threatened species that lacked World Bank estimates of revenue loss (41 countries supporting 38% of SSTS considered) into an approximation of the proportion of each dollar spent that reached its conservation target after bribes had been paid. Resulting estimates varied from 0.1% average loss for New Zealand to 7.6% for Somalia. For French Polynesia (France), Amsterdam (France), Gough (UK), Inaccessible (UK) and Henderson Islands (UK) (collectively supporting 2% of SSTS) information on PPP and corruption was derived from the relevant colonial nation with a nominal 20% surcharge on PPP to account for the higher costs of investment arising from isolation. For the British Virgin Islands (supporting 1 SSTS), which lacked any estimate of corruption, data from the American Virgin Islands were used). The product of PPP and the corruption index was used to estimate the interaction between the two: a dollar spent on conservation in a country in which US$1 buys two units of conservation but with a corruption index of 0.5 would have the same impact on the ground as a dollar spent in the US assuming it had no corruption (CI = 1.0). Following the argument of Balmford et al.,40 one SSTS was deemed to cost, on average, the equivalent to maintain in local currency regardless of country. On this basis countries were ranked using four different metrics to guide alternative investment strategies within different financial risk environments: 1. Number of SSTS/country (n): the top priority for investment is the one with the most SSTS. 2. Purchasing Power Parity (PPP): the investment strategy aims to gain greatest value for money, regardless of number of species or the level of corruption


Supra note 5.

Investing in Threatened Species Conservation: Does Corruption Outweigh Purchasing Power?


3. Corruption Index (CI): the investment strategy aims to avoid rent seeking behavior, regardless of other considerations 4. Efficient (PPP×CI): the investment strategy aims to optimize investment, balancing the value of the dollar against levels of corruption. In addition the ten countries with the highest SSTS and the 23 with only one SSTS were ranked based on the efficient investment estimates. 5. Maximized: the investment strategy aims to maximize the number of species after value of the dollar and corruption risk has been taken into account. Using a sequential investment strategy (i.e. all SSTS in one country will be invested in before any in the next), the cumulative total of species and the cumulative total conservation units expended (n×PPP×CI for each country, standardized to total 1.00) were calculated for each ranking strategy.

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The Status of Wildlife in Protected Areas Compared to Nonprotected Areas in Kenya



African Conservation Centre, Nairobi, Kenya School of Biological Sciences, Bristol University, Bristol UK


Abstract We compile over 270 wildlife counts of Kenya's wildlife populations conducted over the last 30 years to compare trends in national parks and reserves with adjacent ecosystems and country-wide trends. The study shows the importance of discriminating human-induced changes from natural population oscillations related to rainfall and ecological factors. National park and reserve populations have declined sharply over the last 30 years, at a rate similar to non-protected areas and country-wide trends. The protected area losses reflect in part their poor coverage of seasonal ungulate migrations. The losses vary among parks. The largest parks, Tsavo East, Tsavo West and Meru, account for a disproportionate share of the losses due to habitat change and the difficulty of protecting large remote parks. The losses in Kenya's parks add to growing evidence for wildlife declines inside as well as outside African parks. The losses point to the need to quantify the performance of conservation policies and promote integrated landscape practices that combine parks with private and community-based measures.

This study was originally published in PLoS ONE 6(7) (2011). Formatting and references were changed to the style and citation requirements of WILDCAT CONSERVATION LEGAL AID SOCIETY.

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Introduction The need for ecosystem-wide monitoring has become more pressing as the goals of conservation have expanded from saving endangered species and national parks to sustaining biological diversity, ecosystem function and ecological services.1 Quantification of species trends and the factors governing population and ecosystem viability are vital to forecasting, planning and managing wildlife populations, and in auditing the success of alternative conservation policies and practices. Despite the need to quantify conservation programs, few studies have looked at the success of protected areas, which now cover 10% of the earth's land surface, 2 relative to non-protected areas. 3 Several factors account for the paucity of conservation audits. First, the level of monitoring needed to assess conservation performance is expensive and calls for long-term commitment and planning. Research priorities have focused on charismatic species and the most urgent conservation threats. Long-term ecological monitoring has, consequently, been given little attention4 until the establishment of a network of Long Term Ecological Research sites. 5 Exceptions for large mammal ecosystems include long-term ungulate counts in Africa, conducted in national parks such as Kruger, 6 Serengeti, 7 1

N. MYERS, Conserving Biodiversity: A Research Agenda for Development Agencies, 362 NATURE 30 (1993); A. BALMFORD, ET AL., The convention on biological diversity's 2010 target, 307 SCIENCE 212–13 (2005); A. BALMFORD, ET AL., Ecology: Economic Reasons for Conserving Wild Nature, 297 SCIENCE 950–53 (2002). 2 J. ERVIN, Protected Area Assessments in Perspective, 53(9) BIOSCIENCE 819– 22 (2003). 3 T. M. CARO & P. SCHOLTE, When Protection Falters, 45 AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY 233–35 (2007). 4 A. MACEWEN & M. MACEWEN, NATIONAL PARKS: CONSERVATION OR COSMETICS? (London: George Allen and Unwin 1982); R. G. WRIGHT, WILDLIFE RESEARCH AND MANAGEMENT IN THE NATIONAL PARKS, (Urbana: University of Illinois Press 1992). 5 J. SYMSTAD, ET AL., Long-term and Large-scale Perspectives on the Relationship between Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning, 53(1) BIOSCIENCE 89–98 (2003). 6 THE KRUGER EXPERIENCE. ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT OF SAVANNA HETEROGENEITY (J. T. du Toit, et. al., eds., Island Press 2003).

The Status of Wildlife in Protected Areas Compared to Nonprotected Areas in Kenya


Ngorongoro, 8 Maasai Mara, 9 Nairobi, 10 and Nakuru. 11 These counts provide population trends for individual parks, but do not compare the success of parks per se with similar non-protected areas, or the protected area systems as a whole with country-wide wildlife trends. Second, there has been little coordination among individual researchers, conservation organizations, government agencies or landowners conducting wildlife censuses. The lack of coordination and standardization creates methodological problems in comparing discontinuous data and different counting methods. 12 Data are often hard to locate, verify and synthesize because they are so scattered in agency reports, private files and journals. Third, complex ecological interactions such as rainfallungulate and predator-prey oscillations make it difficult to distinguish human-induced from background ecological changes. Owen-Smith and Ogutu underscore the importance of long-term systematic monitoring in Kruger National Park for teasing out the impact of conservation policies and management practices from rainfall, predation and other ecological factors.13 Lamenting the lack of quantitative data, Struhsaker et al. used questionnaire surveys to gauge the success of protected areas relative to community-based conservation and non7

SERENGETI II: DYNAMICS, MANAGEMENT, AND CONSERVATION OF AN ECOSYSTEM (ARE Sinclair & P. Arcese, eds., University of Chicago Press 1995). 8 R. D. ESTES, ET AL., Downward trends in Ngorongoro Crater Ungulate Populations 1986–2005: Conservation Concerns and the Need for Ecological Research, 131 BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION 106–120 (2006). 9 W. K. OTTICHILO, ET AL., Population Trends of Large Non-Migratory Wild Herbivores and Livestock in the Masai Mara Ecosystem, Kenya, between 1977 and 1997, 38 AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY 202–216 (2000). 10 J. B. FOSTER & M. J. COE, The Biomass of Game Animals in Nairobi National Park, 155 JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY 413–425 (1968); Amboseli/Lower Rift Regional Study, Final report to the Wildlife Planning Unit, MINISTRY OF TOURISM AND WILDLIFE, NAIROBI, KENYA (1982). 11 E. M. MWANGI & D. WESTERN, Habitat Selection by Large Herbivores in Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya, 7 BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION 1–8 (1998). 12 Supra note 5. 13 J. O. OGUTU & N. OWEN-SMITH, ENSO, Rainfall and Temperature Influences on Extreme Population Declines among African Savanna Ungulates, 6 ECOLOGY LETTERS 412–419 (2003).

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protected areas in Africa. 14 Questionnaires are, however, subjective and may aggravate rather than resolve debates over conservation policies and paradigms. 15 Sutherland et al., 16 noted that conservation practice relies more on anecdote and myth than quantitative evidence and called for more evidence-based conservation. Despite a lack of systematic monitoring, there has been a large number of individual wildlife censuses conducted in eastern and southern Africa since the 1960s. Scholte and Caro have shown that it is possible to statistically combine such disparate counts and methodologies to compare protected area with nonprotected areas systems. 17 To compare wildlife trends as a function of protected area status in Tanzania, Scholte and Caro compiled censuses for seven census zones over two time periods a decade apart (late 1980s-early 1990s with late 1990s-early 2000s). 18 The aggregate population trends show wildlife declining in all census zones over the decade, but with the level of protection significantly slowing declines and in some species reversing trends. Caro and Scholte point out that a raft of studies now point to ungulate declines inside as well as outside parks across Africa.19 If substantiated, the declines raise grave concerns about the adequacy of parks and point to the need for a radical review of conservation policies. A major review should, however, be grounded in more substantial evidence about the park trends and the underlying causes. Deficiencies in boundary design and area 14

T. T. STRUHSAKER, ET AL., Conserving Africa's Rain Forests: Problems in Protected Areas and Possible Solutions, 123 BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION 45–54 (2005). 15 M. HOCKINGS, Systems for Assessing the Effectiveness of Management in Protected Areas, 53 BIOSCIENCE 823–832 (2003); P. S. GOODMAN, Assessing Management Effectiveness and Setting Priorities in Protected Areas in KwaZulu-Natal, 53 BIOSCIENCE 843–850 (2003). 16 W. J. Sutherland, et al., The Need for Evidence-based Conservation, 19 Trends in Ecology and Evolution 6 (2004). 17 Supra note 3. 18 Id. 19 Id.

The Status of Wildlife in Protected Areas Compared to Nonprotected Areas in Kenya


coverage or inadequate protection and ecological management, 20 could account for the losses. The first calls for major changes in national conservation policy, the second for changes in parks' management practices. Quantifying the importance of parks in conserving wildlife, as well as quantifying the wildlife trends and their causes, calls for a serious investment in ecological monitoring. The monitoring should include multi-species censuses and environmental variables in order to tease out human-induced from natural trends, and to provide a quantitative audit and comparative analysis of conservation strategies. Here we assemble continuous multi-species ungulate censuses of sufficient duration and on a large enough scale to transcend climatic cycles and to compare protected areas with matching non-protected areas of Kenya. We also compare the importance of Kenya's protected area system relative to countrywide wildlife numbers and trends. Wildlife audits of the rangelands have been conducted by the government's Department of Remote Sensing and Resource Surveys (DRSRS) since 1977. The rangelands cover three quarters of Kenya's 440,000 km2 land surface and all but a small proportion of its large herbivore populations. 21 The counts cover all species Thomson's gazelle-sized (15 kg) and larger, giving a good measure of the large ungulate community which dominates the savannas. 22 The DRSRS national audits show that wildlife


PARKS IN PERIL (K. Brandon, et al., eds., Island Press 1998); THE POLITICS AND ECONOMICS OF PARK MANAGEMENT (T. I. Anderson et al., eds., Rowman

and Littlefield 2001). 21 J. GRUNBLATT, ET AL., Department of Remote Sensing and Resource Surveys (DRSRS) National Rangelands Report; Summary of Population Estimates for Wildlife and Livestock; Kenyan Rangelands 1977â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1994 (Draft), MINISTRY OF PLANNING AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, DRSRS (1996); JAN DE LEEUW, ET AL., Interpretation of the Department of Remote Sensing and Resource Surveys (DRSRS) Animal Counts (1977â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1997) in the Rangeland Districts of Kenya, DRSRS NAIROBI (1998). 22 J.T. DU TOIT & DHM CUMMINGS, Functional Significance of Ungulate Diversity in African Savannas and the Ecological Impact of the Spread of Pastoralism, BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION 1643-61 (1999).

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has declined by more than a third over the last 25 years. 23 Due to the uncoordinated nature of counts and scattered results, no such audit of national parks and reserves has been conducted, despite counts dating from as early as the 1950s and 1960s. 24 Here we assemble over 270 counts conducted over the last 25 years or more to assess wildlife trends in national parks relative to countrywide trends. The counts include published censuses and formal reports where possible, but most are drawn from unpublished counts from public institutions, individual researchers and volunteer groups. Kenya has 23 terrestrial national parks under the administration of the Kenya Wildlife Service and 26 national reserves under district administration. Collectively, the parks and reserves cover 8% of the national land surface of Kenya. Many parks and reserves have too few counts to assess long-term trends. We have therefore included in our study all parks that had a baseline count by 1977 and have been counted repeatedly until at least 1997, giving 20 years of contemporaneous data. The study includes 73% of the area covered by national parks and an estimated 95% of the national wildlife population. 25 Unfortunately, data is only available for one national reserve, Maasai Mara, which is under district administration. The Maasai Mara does, however, account for most of the wildlife found in national reserves. Grunblatt et al., calculate that the remaining national reserves account for 32% of all national protected area coverage in Kenya, but only 2% of the national wildlife population. 26 The sparse populations in national reserves reflect their marginal wildlife importance in most cases, as well as heavy livestock occupation and poor protection.


Supra note 21. FOSTER, supra note 10; D. WESTERN, THE STRUCTURE, DYNAMICS AND CHANGES OF THE AMBOSELI ECOSYSTEM, (Ph.D. thesis, University of Nairobi 1973). 25 GRUNBLATT. supra note 21. 26 Id. 24

The Status of Wildlife in Protected Areas Compared to Nonprotected Areas in Kenya


Our audit of Kenya's protected areas was analyzed using standard methodologies with four objectives in mind. First, we assess wildlife numbers and trends in one of Africa's premier protected area systems. Second, we compare trends in protected and non-protected areas similar in setting. We did so by matching contemporaneous counts inside and outside the park within the same ecosystem. Third, we compare wildlife trends in parks with nation-wide trends. Fourth, we compare the wildlife coverage given by protected areas as a proportion of national totals. We look at the numbers of all species combined rather than individual species in order to compare the trends and overall contribution of wildlife in parks to national trends and to the country-wide population. A more detailed study underway looks at species trends and changes in guild and community structure. Results Trends in National Parks and Reserves Linear regression models were fitted using the Prais-Winsten Generalised Least Squares method, assuming errors have a firstorder autocorrelation structure. The assumption of first-order autoregression was verified by partial autocorrelation of the raw data. Analyses were performed using SPSS 12.0 for Windows. All values were log10 transformed prior to analysis. Data for any missing years were estimated by linear interpolation. Highly significant declines have occurred in three of the seven parks. These include Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks (combined) and Meru National Park. Nairobi National Park shows a negative but non-significant downward trend. Mara also shows a negative but insignificant decline. However, an earlier study, based on more complete censuses than we were able to obtain, concluded that non-migratory wildlife in Mara National Reserve declined by 58% between 1977 and 1997, and that there was no significant difference in declines in and outside the reserve. 27 Nakuru and Amboseli show non-significant increases. 27

Supra note 9.

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The five protected areas showing declines are Kenya's most populous wildlife preserves. Collectively, these parks account for 98% of wildlife covered by the protected areas listed in TABLE 1. The largest parks show the steepest declines. Wildlife populations declined 63% in Tsavo East and West between 1977 and 1997 and 78% in Meru between 1977 and 2000. There are, furthermore, indications that wildlife populations in the smaller parks have declined in more recent years as shown in TABLE 2 below. TABLE 1. Trends in large mammal numbers for key parks, reserves and adjoining non-protected areas within the ecosystem.

TABLE 2. Trends in large mammal populations in the three smallest National Parks of the study from 1990 onwards.

The Status of Wildlife in Protected Areas Compared to Nonprotected Areas in Kenya


The combined wildlife population change for all national parks listed in TABLE 1 is given in FIGURE 1 for the period 1977 to 1997. The data include interpolated counts for Tsavo East and West, Amboseli, Nakuru, Nairobi and Meru. The decline is highly significant (b = â&#x2C6;&#x2019;0.008, t = â&#x2C6;&#x2019;3.066, p = 0.007). The overall percentage loss of wildlife for all five parks is 41%. The percentage loss for Maasai Mara National Reserve over the same period was 25%. FIGURE 1. Combined wildlife population changes for Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Amboseli, Nakuru, Meru and Nairobi National Parks and between 1977 and 1997.

Trends in Protected Areas and Adjacent Ecosystems A comparison of wildlife trends in nationally protected areas and adjacent ecosystems is given in TABLE 1. TABLE 3 gives the values for the interaction term, which formally tests for a significant difference in the slopes (log10 numbers regressed against Year) inside and outside a given park. Analyses were performed using S-Plus. No interactions are significant, showing that yearly changes do not differ significantly inside and outside parks in the four matching areas for which data are available. No such data are available for Meru National Park. However, data for the adjacent districts of Isiolo and Samburu suggest the trend

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outside is also steeply downwards. 28 In the case of Nakuru, the park is ecologically isolated from the surrounding farms by an electric fence, so has no matching ecosystem.



note 21.

Opportunities of Habitat Connectivity for Tiger (Panthera tigris) between Kanha and Pench National Parks in Madhya Pradesh, India 27


Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, India Madhya Pradesh Forest Department, Bhopal, India

Abstract The Tiger (Panthera tigris) population in India has undergone a sharp decline during the last few years. Of the number of factors attributed to this decline, habitat fragmentation has been the most worrisome. Wildlife corridors have long been a subject of discussion amongst wildlife biologists and conservationists with contrasting schools of thought arguing their merits and demerits. However, it is largely believed that wildlife corridors can help minimize genetic isolation, offset fragmentation problems, improve animal dispersal, restore ecological processes and reduce man animal conflict. This study attempted to evaluate the possibilities of identifying a suitable wildlife corridor between two very important wildlife areas of central India–the Kanha National Park and the Pench National Park—with tiger as the focal species. Geographic Information System (GIS) centric Least Cost Path modeling was used to identify likely routes for movement of tigers. Habitat suitability, ∗

This study was originally published in PLoS ONE 6(7) (2011). Formatting and references were changed to the style and citation requirements of WILDCAT CONSERVATION LEGAL AID SOCIETY.

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perennial water bodies, road density, railway tracks, human settlement density and total forest edge were considered as key variables influencing tiger movement across the Kanha-Pench landscape. Each of these variables was weighted in terms of relative importance through an expert consultation process. Using different importance scenarios, three alternate corridor routes were generated of which one was identified as the most promising for tiger dispersal. Weak linksâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;where cover and habitat conditions are currently sub-optimalâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;were flagged on the corridor route. Interventions aimed at augmenting the identified corridor route have been suggested using accepted wildlife corridor design principles. The involvement of local communities through initiatives such as ecotourism has been stressed as a crucial long term strategy for conservation of the Kanha-Pench wildlife corridor. The results of the study indicate that restoration of the identified wildlife corridors between the two protected areas is technically feasible.

Introduction The 21st century has brought many conservation challenges to the fore. One very important and significant challenge that has evoked considerable scientific interest is the fragmentation of wildlife habitat. With rapidly expanding human populations and other competing land uses, areas that used to be continuous habitat have become broken and fragmented, isolating plant and animal populations contained within them. Habitat fragmentation is usually a time driven process that is innocuously initiated by human habitation or man induced habitat alteration and which eventually accelerates and results in complete isolation of once contiguous habitat. Populations thus isolated face survival pressures through increased competition for food and space and obligated risks in relation to disease outbreaks and episodic calamities such as fire and flood. Over a larger time span, species inhabiting isolated habitats also face the risk of extinction through mechanisms such as excessive inbreeding. 1 1

R. JOSHI & R. SINGH, Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) and Riparian Wildlife Corridor: A Case Study from Lesser Himalayan Zone of Uttarakhand, 4 THE

Opportunities of Habitat Connectivity for Tiger (Panthera tigris) between Kanha and Pench National Parks in Madhya Pradesh, India 29

The habitat fragmentation issue is of particular relevance to developing countries where most of the biodiversity rich tropical ecosystems are located. Natural ecosystems in many developing nations are currently facing an unprecedented threat from diverse competing pressures arising from a burgeoning human population and unregulated economic growth. India is one of the twelve mega-biodiversity nations of the world. 2 Of these, around 175 animal species are in the IUCN Red List threat category. 3 India is also home to over 1 billion people many of whom live proximate to forest areas depending on them for their livelihood and subsistence. Urbanization, industrialization, infrastructure development projects, agriculture, grazing, deforestation, wildlife trade and poaching continue to create tremendous stress on pristine natural habitat and wildlife. As habitats shrink and populations become more isolated on ‘habitat islands’ studded in a matrix of alternate land use, serious questions on long term survival of many key species are now being asked. The status of large cats located at the apex of the food pyramid, is a grim reminder of the intense pressure that these animals face due to habitat loss. In the recent times, considerable scientific and media attention has been focused in India on large mammals— particularly large cats—and their conflict with man largely attributed to shrinking habitat. The fierce conflict between man and leopard in Mumbai due to habitat loss; 4 the very vulnerable and small population of 441 Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica) located in only 259 km2 of core forest habitat in Gir, Gujarat; 5 the highly vulnerable population of between 1706 tigers in India (as per the 2009–2010 census) threatened by habitat loss and

JOURNAL OF AMERICAN SCIENCE 63-75 (2008); M. WIESS, The Theory of Island Biogeography, UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR (2006). 2 J. R. B. ALFRED, Faunal Diversity in India: An Overview, FAUNAL DIVERSITY IN INDIA, ENVIS CENTRE, ZOOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA, KOLKATA (1998). 3 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Version 2010.4., available at 4 N. M. GHANEKAR, Man-animal Conflict on Rise in City, HINDUSTAN TIMES (November 29, 2011). 5 Wildlife Census, GUJARAT FOREST DEPARTMENT (2012) available at

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poaching, 6 are all indicative of the vulnerability that these fiercely territorial apex predators face today. One solution to ameliorate the undesirable effects of habitat loss is to reverse the process of fragmentation by providing or rebuilding connectivity between isolated habitat patches through wildlife corridors. The idea of wildlife corridors was probably proposed for the first time by Wilson and Willis,7 as a means of conserving biodiversity based on the theory of island biogeography. A wildlife corridor has been defined as a “linear landscape element which serves as a linkage between historically connected habitat/natural areas, and is meant to facilitate movement between these natural areas.” 8 Creation of wildlife corridors has received much global attention during the last two decades. While the utility of wildlife corridors has been debated,9 it is largely believed that wildlife corridors facilitate animal dispersal from isolated habitats and help counter biological processes that lead to species extinction.10 While the idea of 6

Status of the Tigers, Co-predators, and Prey in India, 2010, NATIONAL TIGER CONSERVATION AUTHORITY, GOVT. OF INDIA, NEW DELHI, AND WILDLIFE INSTITUTE OF INDIA, DEHRADUN (Y. V. Jhala, et al., eds. 2011). 7 E. O. WILSON, Applied Biogeography, HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS 522-534 (1975). 8 A. MCEUEN, The Wildlife Corridor Controversy: A Review, 10 ENDANGERED SPECIES UPDATE 11-12 (1993). 9 D. S. SIMBERLOFF & L. G. ABELE, Island Biogeography Theory and Conservation Practice, 191 SCIENCE 285–86 (1976); D. S. SIMBERLOFF & J. COX, Consequences and Costs of Conservation Corridors, 1 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 63–71 (1987); D. S. SIMBERLOFF, ET AL., Consequences and Costs of Conservation Corridors, 1 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 63–71 (1992). 10 R. F. Noss, A Regional Landscape Approach to Maintain Diversity, 33 BioScience 700–706 (1983); R. F. NOSS, Protecting Natural Areas in Fragmented Landscapes, 7 NATURAL AREAS JOURNAL 2–13 (1987); R. F. NOSS & L. D. HARRIS, Nodes, Networks, and MUMs: Preserving Diversity at All Scales, 10 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 299–309 (1986); R. WALKER & L. CRAIGHEAD, Analyzing Wildlife Movement Corridors in Montana using GIS, PROCEEDINGS OF THE ESRI USER CONFERENCE, REDLANDS (1997); L. CRAIGHEAD & E. VYSE, Brown Grizzly Bear Metapopulations, ISLAND PRESS 325–351 (1996); P. BEIR, Dispersal of Juvenile Cougars in Fragmented Habitat, 59 JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT: 228–237 (1995); D. PAETKAU, ET AL., Dramatic Variation in Genetic Diversity across the Range of North American Brown Bears, (1997); When Birds Use Wildlife Corridors, Plants Benefit, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA (2005) available at

Opportunities of Habitat Connectivity for Tiger (Panthera tigris) between Kanha and Pench National Parks in Madhya Pradesh, India 31

connecting fragmented patches may appear simplistic at first sight, the identification, design and development of wildlife corridors in large landscapes presents unique challenges. 11 Beier & Loe 12 observe that the critical features of a wildlife corridor are not its physical traits such as its length or width or vegetation but rather how well a particular piece of land fulfills several functions like survival of species, facilitation of travel, migration, mate finding of wide ranging animals, propagation of plants, genetic interchange, movement of populations in response to environmental changes and natural disasters and re-colonization of habitat areas by individuals. The importance of wildlife corridors for tiger conservation in India has also been significantly reiterated by Jhala, Qureshi, Gopal and Sinha. 13 The present study was undertaken to explore the possibilities of establishing connectivity between two very important wildlife areas—the Kanha National Park and the Pench National Park—in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Methods ~ Study Area The Kanha National Park which is located in the Mandla, Balaghat and Dindori districts of Madhya Pradesh (MP), covers an area of around 940 km2. An additional area of about 1000 km2 constitutes the buffer zone for Kanha. Kanha was one of the first nine protected areas to be brought under the ambit of the Project Tiger launched by the Government of India in 1973. Kanha is one; Elk Management in Banff National Park, PARKS CANADA (2003) available at; E. MCKENZIE & R. P. BIO, Important Criteria and Parameters of Wildlife Movement Corridors: A Partial Literature Review (1995); K. K. KARANTH, ET AL., The Shrinking Ark: Patterns of Large Mammal Extinctions in India, PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY, London (2010). 11 P. BEIER & S. LOE, A Checklist for Evaluating Impacts to Wildlife Movement Corridors, 20 WILDLIFE SOCIETY BULLETIN 434–440 (1992). 12 A. J. T. JOHNSINGH, Large Mammalian Prey-Predators in Bandipur, 80 JOURNAL OF THE BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY 1–57 (1983). 13 Supra note 6.

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of the richest biodiversity areas in India with around 22 species of mammals and 300 species of birds. The 2010 tiger census of India showed Kanha to have population of 60 tigers. 14 The Pench National Park and tiger reserve are spread over the Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh. The core area of the Pench National Park in MP is around 293 km2 while the buffer area of the Pench tiger reserve is around 758 km2. The Pench National Park is also very rich in biodiversity with around 20 species of mammals and around 300 species of birds. As per the 2010 tiger census of India, the Pench National Park in MP had 54 tigers. 15 Both Kanha and Pench National Parks are administered by the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department. Interestingly, the Pench National park contiguously extends into the state of Maharashtra covering an area of 257 km2 in that state and is administered there by the Maharashtra Forest Department. The Maharashtra Pench area has 11 tigers as per the 2010 tiger census. 16 The study opted to concentrate on one primary focal species â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Tiger (Panthera tigris) for delineation of suitable corridor paths between Kanha and Pench National Parks. There were some important factors to consider only one focal species for this study. In terms of conservation focus, the tiger is the most important species and the central Indian forests hold the largest single population of tigers. Currently, a very high priority is being accorded to tiger conservation in India due to their declining numbers and shrinking habitat. While no detailed studies are available, some earlier work 17 seems to indicate that sympatric carnivores in these forestsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; particularly wild dogsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;would in all likelihood also, use corridors designed for tigers due to an overlap of prey species. Kanha and Pench national parks are separated by a road distance of approximately 200 km and a large part of the intervening area between these two national parks is covered by 14

Id. Id. 16 Id. 17 Supra note 12. 15

Opportunities of Habitat Connectivity for Tiger (Panthera tigris) between Kanha and Pench National Parks in Madhya Pradesh, India 33

forests which are under the control of the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department (MPFD). These intervening forests between Kanha and Pench are territorial forest divisions managed conventionally as prescribed by forest working plans. The continuity for forests in these areas is unbroken for large stretches even though at some places discontinuity and fragmentation in forest cover can be observed. These intervening stretches of forests offer promising opportunities for developing a corridor area suitable for the movement of Tiger between these two very important protected areas. Currently however, the forest area between Kanha and Pench is not viewed as a wildlife corridor and is not managed primarily for wildlife values. This study specifically focused on the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) modeling to identify optimal corridors for movement of tigers using Least Cost Path (LCP) analysis.

Satellite Image Analysis Digital image analysis of remotely sensed satellite data was done on the ERDAS Imagine 8.6 digital image analysis system to determine forest cover status for habitat mapping. The study area was covered by four Indian Remote Sensing Satellite -1D LISS III scenes. Data for the month of November 2002 was chosen keeping in mind defoliation of teak beyond this time. As monsoon activity concludes in central India around September end, cloud free data for the study area was available for the month of November. Radiometric correction was applied to the LISS data. Satellite images of the study area were geo-referenced to 1:250,000 topographic map sheets of the Survey of India. The transverse mercator projection was used with WGS84 spheroid & datum and other projection parameters as used by the Survey of India for its digital topographic map database. All four satellite images were geometrically rectified using appropriate GCPs selected from the topographic map sheets. The geometrically corrected raster images were mosaicked to prepare a single dataset covering the entire study area using standard mosaic routines available in ERDAS and color differences at the edges of adjoining images were removed using the histogram matching technique. The image was classified into six vegetation classes

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(TABLE 1). Post classification smoothing was done using a 5×5 median statistical filter to merge stray isolated pixels. Ground verification of the vegetation classification was done traversing the landscape area for various classes using the Leica GS5 GPS receiver system and Garmin 12 XL GPS receiver.

TABLE 1. Vegetation classes and description

GIS LCP analysis was used to determine optimal corridor paths between the two national parks. LCP is a multi-step process performed on raster surfaces in a GIS environment. Considering the area between the points between which connectivity is being explored, it computes a composite ‘cost of movement’ score for every cell in the intervening landscape grid by considering factors that would promote or impede movement of the focal species. The higher the calculated movement cost for a grid cell, the less is the likelihood that the animal will move there. Using this data, the GIS cost path function predicts the most likely route to be taken by the target species by connecting cells that have the least cost of movement. The focal species based Least Cost Path analysis used in the present study has been used in many similar studies for delineating and designing wildlife corridors. 18 18

C. B. CHETKIEWICZ, ET AL., Corridors for Conservation: Integrating Pattern and Process, 37 ANNUAL REVIEW OF ECOLOGY, EVOLUTION, AND SYSTEMATICS 317–342 (2006); Revised Guidelines For The Ongoing Centrally Sponsored

Opportunities of Habitat Connectivity for Tiger (Panthera tigris) between Kanha and Pench National Parks in Madhya Pradesh, India 35

In a departure from the focal species based corridor development approach however, Beier & Brost 19 have recently suggested using land facets, which are recurring areas of uniform topography and soil characteristics, as a more stable basis for identifying wildlife corridors and for conservation planning. While the land facet based corridor identification might also use least cost modeling, it is divergent from the focal species oriented approach in that it does not rely on current land cover maps but rather on the more stable topographic and soil attribute parameters which in conjugation with climate, fundamentally determine the composition of species assemblages at a given site. The land facet approach argues that given the developing climate change scenario, the assemblage of species might change with changes in climate and as a consequence, corridors based on transient variables such as land cover might become unviable in the future. However, linkages based on connectivity of land facets will be more durable as they are derived from fundamental rather than transient attributes. The land facet based corridor approach is however currently evolving and might be at present constrained for data particularly better soil maps limiting somewhat, accurate delineation of land facets.20 It has also been suggested by Beier & Brost 21 that linkages developed using the land facet approach might result in inclusion of half or more areas of the landscape as part of the corridor creating ambitious conservation goals.

Scheme Of Project Tiger, NATIONAL TIGER CONSERVATION AUTHORITY (NTCA), MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (2008); P. S. QUINBY, ET AL., Opportunities for Wildlife Habitat Connectivity between Algonquin Provincial Park and the Adirondack Park, 10 WILD EARTH 75–80 (2000); F. V. OSBORN & G. E. PARKER, Linking Two Elephant Refuges with a Corridor in the Communal Lands of Zimbabwe, 41 AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY 1; 68–74 (2003); K. MENKE, Locating Potential Cougar Corridors in New Mexico using a Least-Cost Path Corridor GIS Analysis: A Project Report Publication, Albuquerque (2008); M. A. LARUE & C. A. NIELSEN, Modeling Potential Dispersal Corridors for Cougars in Midwestern North America using Least-cost Path Models, 212 ECOLOGICAL MODELING 3-4; 372–381 (2008). 19 P. BEIER & B. BROST, Use of Land Facets to Plan for Climate Change: Conserving the Arenas, Not the Actors, 24 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 3; 701–710 (2010). 20 Id. 21 Id.

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Majka 22 after testing the land facet approach in three Arizona landscapes cautions that the land facet approach be used to complement and not replace corridors delineated using focal species based procedures. All GIS work was done on ArcView GIS 8.3. Base maps pertaining to drainage, contours, road network, rail network, and water bodies at 1:250000 scale were procured in digital form from the Survey of India â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the national mapping agency for India. Forest compartment maps were procured as paper copies from the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department and integrated in the geographic database after digitization.

Cost Path Model Development For the present study, six key variables were considered in defining movement preferences of tigers (TABLE 2). TABLE 2. Variables and description

The choice of variables was based on published literature sources on tiger ecology and migration, 23 expert consultation and similar studies on cougars. 24


D. MAJKA, New Tools Available: Designing Corridors for Climate Change, CORRIDOR DESIGN BLOG, (2010). 23 J. SEIDENSTICKER, ET AL., Tiger Predatory Behavior, Ecology and Conservation, 65 SYMPOSIUM OF THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON 105â&#x20AC;&#x201C;125 (1993); J. SEIDENSTICKER, ET AL., Overview Tiger Ecology: Understanding and Encouraging Landscape Patterns and Conditions Where Tigers can Persist, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS (1999).

Opportunities of Habitat Connectivity for Tiger (Panthera tigris) between Kanha and Pench National Parks in Madhya Pradesh, India 37

Habitat (H) The habitat layer ranks zones preferred by prey species of tiger in the study area. Assessment of preference is based on field data of pellet counts associated with each cover type. Habitat zones where prey populations are abundant are likely to be preferred by the tiger in comparison to those where they are scarce or absent. Consequently, cost of movement to high prey abundance areas will therefore be less. Habitat value rankings (TABLE 3) were assigned to each cover type through a delphi ranking process keeping in view prey abundance data. As can be seen, areas dominated by bamboo are preferred by tiger prey species as sufficient browse is available at approachable height. TABLE 3. Habitat types and cost rank

Perennial Water Bodies (PWB) Water availability is a critical requirement. In the study area landscape, water becomes particularly scarce during the summer months. At such times, prey populations also converge at water sources providing predators with hunting opportunities. Movement into areas proximate to perennial water sources would therefore be favored. The water grid was constructed by combining the perennial streams from the river coverage and lakes from the classified satellite map. The distance from these perennial sources of water was represented as a water distance 24

BEIR, supra note 10; MCKENZIE, supra note 10; MENKE, supra note 18; LARUE, supra note 18.

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grid and was calculated using the straight line function in the Spatial Analyst module in ArcMap. The straight line function calculates the Euclidean distance for each cell from the nearest source (water) cell. The range of distances obtained was reclassified into nine categories with corresponding cost rank values (TABLE 4). TABLE 4. Distance from water bodies and cost values

The area occupied by water bodies were treated as having a high movement cost as they might act as movement barriers.

Road Density (RD) Roads act as a barrier to movement. An area having a high density of road would be avoided as compared to an area with few or no roads. Apart from other things like road dividers, interstate roads which usually have a very high traffic volume, further amplify the barrier effect due to constant noise and vehicular movement. A road density grid was created using the road coverage along with data on Passenger Car Unit (PCU) acquired from the Madhya Pradesh highway department. PCU data was attached to each road segment and road density with respect PCU was calculated using the LINEDENSITY function. The entire range of the resultant values was divided into High, Medium, Low and Absent categories. Areas where road density is high present a higher traversing cost as compared to areas having low road density. Cost rank values for road density are presented in TABLE 5.

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TABLE 5. Road density and cost rank

Railway (R) The study area landscape is also bisected by railway lines at a few places. While railway tracks are not formidable physical barriers, noise and vibration emitted due to passing trains can act as deterrents to movement. For the purposes of this study therefore, areas where a railway line is present was considered as a movement resistance zone for the tiger. Cost ranks assigned by presence or absence for this variable are presented in TABLE 6. TABLE 6. Railway track and cost rank

Settlements (S) Areas of human settlements are usually avoided by migrating animals. The denser and more populous an area, the more formidable it is as a movement barrier. Tigers, under normal circumstances, avoid traversing through such areas. To derive a human settlement grid, census data for each settlement was attached to settlements in the study area. POINTDENSITY function was used to calculate population density. The resultant

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density range was used to categorize settlements. Cost rankings for this variable are presented in TABLE 7. TABLE 7. Human settlement cost rank

Total Edge (TE) Tigers are solitary and elusive animals. Fragmented forests present expanses of open spaces to the ranging animal to negotiate which it might possibly avoid. In landscape ecology terms, such fragmented habitats have a high proportion of forest edge as compared to core areas where forest cover is unbroken. 25 Edge is defined as the portion of an ecosystem bordering its perimeter, where influences of the adjacent patches can cause an environmental difference between the interior of the patch and its edge. This edge effect includes a distinctive species composition or abundance in the outer part of the landscape patch. 26 Species like the tiger, which prefer core habitats, generally avoid areas with high edge density. Estimation of edge per unit area in the study area was thus of importance in terms of inhibiting or promoting movement of the focal species. Total Edge (TE), a landscape level metric, has been defined as the sum of the lengths (m) of all edge segments in the 25

H. ZENG & X. B. WU, Utilities of Edge-based Metrics for Studying Landscape Fragmentation Computers, 29 ENVIRONMENT AND URBAN SYSTEMS 159â&#x20AC;&#x201C;178 (2005); D. M. MENEGUZZO & M. A. HANSEN, Quantifying Forest Fragmentation Using Geographic Information Systems and Forest Inventory and Analysis Plot Data, PROCEEDINGS OF THE EIGHTH ANNUAL FOREST INVENTORY AND ANALYSIS SYMPOSIUM, Monterey (2006). 26 R. T. T. FORMAN, Land Mosaics: The Ecology of Landscapes and Regions, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS (1995).

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landscape. If a landscape border is present, TE includes landscape boundary segments representing ‘true’ edge only (i.e. abutting patches of different classes). If a landscape border is absent, TE includes a user-specified proportion of the landscape boundary. Regardless of whether a landscape border is present or not, TE includes a user-specified proportion of internal background edge. Total edge is an absolute measure of total edge length of a particular patch type. 27 TOTAL EDGE IN A LANDSCAPE IS GIVEN AS: TE = E Where E = total length (m) of edge in landscape TE ≥0, without limit TE = 0 when there is no edge in the landscape; that is, when the entire landscape and landscape border, if present, consists of a single patch and the user specifies that none of the landscape boundary and background edge be treated as edge. As TE is a landscape level metric, if it were computed for the study area landscape it would result in a single value indicating total edge length in meters for the whole landscape. The requirement for the present study was to calculate total edge in smaller unit areas covering the entire study landscape. In order to achieve this, the study area was first reclassified into forest and non-forest areas by merging all forest classes into one and then tessellated using hexagon units. Each hexagon unit was treated as a landscape and TE calculated for it. In this manner it was possible to compute TE for contiguous regions covering the entire landscape. The total edge landscape index was calculated using Patch Analyst which employs Fragstats in the background for metric calculations.28 The total edge length between different land use 27 Fragstats Spatial Pattern Analysis Program for Categorical Maps Version 3.3., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS (2006) available at s.html. 28 Id.

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classes was calculated within each hexagon. Cost rank values obtained by categorizing total edge are summarized in TABLE 8. TABLE 8. Forest edge estimate and cost rank

FIGURE 1 shows the categorized edge cost grid. Areas in green show zones where cost of travel is minimal as they have very little edge areas.

FIGURE 1. Edge cost grid derived from categorization of computed edge lengths

Integrating all parameters together, it was possible to arrive at a unified equation to calculate cost of Movement for the tiger in the landscape. The Composite cost of Movement (CM) is defined as:

Opportunities of Habitat Connectivity for Tiger (Panthera tigris) between Kanha and Pench National Parks in Madhya Pradesh, India 43

Where, CM = H = S = WS = TE = RD = R = WH = WS = WWS = WTE = WRD = WR = and

Composite Movement Cost Habitat Cost Settlement Cost Water Source Cost Total Edge Cost Road Density Cost Railway Cost Importance weight for Habitat Importance weight for Settlement Importance weight for Water Sources Importance weight for Total Edge Importance weight for Road Density Importance weight for Railway

Expert opinion has been commonly used in conservation planning, habitat suitability and corridor selection.29 Justifying the use of expert opinion in corridor design, Beier, Majka and Jenness 30 have highlighted that while such models may be subject to errors and uncertainties, they are easy to create, do not require 29

R. F. NOSS, ET AL., A Multicriteria Assessment of the Irreplaceability and Vulnerability of Sites in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, 16 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 895–908 (2002); R. F. NOSS, Information Needs for Large-scale Conservation Planning, 24 NATURAL AREAS JOURNAL 223–231 (2004); Corridor Ecology: The Science and Practice of Linking Landscapes for Biodiversity Conservation, (J. A. Hilty, et al., eds., Island Press 2006); S. C. TROMBULAK, ET AL., The Human Foot Print as a Conservation Planning Tool, SPRINGER (2010); R. WALKER & L. CRAIGHEAD, Analyzing Wildlife Movement Corridors in Montana Using Geographic Information System, PROCEEDINGS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INTERNATIONAL USER CONFERENCE, San Diego (1997) available at conf/proc97/proc97/to150/pap116/p116.htm; W. BATES & A. JONES, Least-Cost Corridor Analysis for Evaluation of Lynx Habitat Connectivity in the Middle Rockies, Research Report Submitted to The Utah Office of the NATURE CONSERVANCY (2007). 30 P. BEIER, ET AL., Conceptual Steps for Designing Corridors (2007) available at

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detailed field data and can be applied to multiple study areas. There has been, however, some criticism on the use of expert opinion in assignment of costs to landscape features used in LCP models on account of a general lack of validation of using empirical data or lack of assessment of model sensitivity to errors in cost assignment. 31 The present study relied on expert judgment to weight cost surfaces and inform LCP analysis for identification of suitable corridor path as in the given data availability scenario, expert judgment constituted the most informed mechanism to factor in tiger movement preferences. For calculating weightage, five leading experts on tiger behavior were contacted with a questionnaire to rate various model parameters on a scale of 1 to 5 for their importance with respect to tiger movement. An additional parameter of slope was also introduced in the questionnaire to get an expert perception if slope could be a major impediment in movement of tigers across a landscape (TABLE 9). TABLE 9. Weights to different model variables by experts (E1â&#x20AC;&#x201C;E5)

As can be seen from TABLE 9, cover, prey base, water availability and human habitation (avoiding inhabited areas) rank high on a majority of responses. All experts indicated that slope probably would not be a factor impeding tiger movement. 31 S. C. SAWYER, ET AL., Placing Linkages among Fragmented Habitats: Do Least-cost Models Reflect How Animals Use Landscapes? 48 JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY 668â&#x20AC;&#x201C;678 (2011).

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Likewise presence of roads and railway tracks also ranked low as impeding factors. Trial runs were performed using various weighting schemes to better assess their impact on predicted migration routes. Considering various possibilities, it was observed that the following three run options adequately captured the variability introduced by weights given by experts in the cost path calculations. The generation of the following options also helped to better understand model sensitivity to weights assigned for cost surfaces.

Run Option 1 (RO1) Run Option 1 was evolved considering all cost themes to be equally important. The cost of movement with this weighting scheme was defined as follows:

Run Option 2 (RO2) Run option 2 was based on the E2 weighting scheme (TABLE 9). In this weighting scheme, the presence of good forest cover with a weight of 5 was the most important requisite for movement of the dispersing animal. Suitable habitat with a good prey base was next in order of relative importance with a weight of 4. Human habitation, human population density, distance to water and road density were assigned weights of 3, 2 and 1 respectively. The cost of movement with this weighting scheme was defined as follows:

Run Option 3 (RO3) RO3 was evolved based on the E1 weighting scheme (TABLE 9). In this weighting scheme, habitat type, edge, and distance from water were presumed to be twice as important as the other contributing factors. Thus, habitat, total edge, and distance to water cost layers were multiplied by a weight factor of

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2 while the other variables did not get any weights. The cost of movement as per this weighting scheme was defined as follows:

Prey Abundance Seidensticker notes that if human induced mortality is discounted, the distribution and density of prey populations rather than vegetation parameters determine tiger density. 32 Cost estimations for suitable habitat for movement of tiger were accordingly based on correlating prey abundance with cover type. These estimates however could not be validated with actual tiger presence data through direct sighting or tiger scat data as the proposed corridor area did not have a significant tiger population and tiger scat was very infrequently encountered for it to be used to make reliable inferences in this context. In order to evolve cost rankings for habitat type (TABLE 3), field studies were undertaken to correlate prey abundance with cover type. A number of direct and indirect methods of estimating mammal densities have been used in tropical forest.33 Estimates 32 J. SEIDENSTICKER & M. SHRESTHA, White Paper: Tiger Populations and Habitat Monitoring, TIGER EXECUTIVE LEADER FORUM, April 15, 2010 available at 33 R. F. W. BARNES & K. L. JENSEN, How to Count Elephants in Forests, 1 IUCN AFRICAN ELEPHANT & RHINO SPECIALIST GROUP TECHNICAL BULLETIN 1-6 (1987); S. H. KOSTER & J. A. HART, Methods of Estimating Ungulate Population in Tropical Forests, 26 AFRICA JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY 117â&#x20AC;&#x201C;126 (1998); K. S. VARMAN, A Study on Census of Large Mammals and their Habitat Utilization during Dry Season in Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary (M.Sc. Dissertation) BHARATHIDASAN UNIVERSITY, Tiruchirapalli (1998); J. B. SALE, ET AL., Preliminary Trials with an Indirect Method of Estimating Asian Elephant Numbers (Unpublished report presented to the IUCN/SSC Elephant Specialist Group 1990); U. K. KARANTH & M. E. SUNQUIST, Prey Selection by Tiger, Leopard and Dhole in Tropical Forests, 64 JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY 439â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 450 (1995); K. SANKAR, The Ecology of Three Large Sympatric Herbivores (Chital, Sambar, Nilgai) with Special Reference for Reserve Management in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan (Ph.D. Thesis) UNIVERSITY OF RAJASTHAN, Jaipur (1994); S. SATHYAKUMAR, Habitat Ecology of Major Ungulates in Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary, Western Himalayas (Ph.D Thesis)

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based on indirect methods usually involve counting animal droppings, whereas direct methods use visual sightings. For the present study, pellet/dung (henceforth called only pellet) counts were undertaken to estimate an index of relative abundance of ungulates in the study area. The broad sampling strategy involved visiting patches of different habitat types and collecting pellet data in belt transects. Care was taken to sample each habitat type in approximately the same proportion as it occurs in the study area. Each belt transect or plot was of size 10m x 2m. A transect was laid in each sampled patch and on each transect 5 plots of the mentioned size were placed at 100m from each other. Sampling was carried out by a team of 2â&#x20AC;&#x201C;3 persons including one researcher and at least one local person. The researcher was trained in identification of pellet groups during earlier visits to the forests in study area. In each plot, this team carefully searched for pellets of forest ungulates found in the study area. Pellet groups were located and identified to the species and were recorded in predesigned datasheets. A pellet group was identified as a group of pellets numbering more than 5 and a result of one event of defecation of an individual animal. In case of Nilgai and Chowshinga which create large latrines by defecating at the same spot, a latrine was counted as one pellet group. The field surveys were undertaken during December 2004 to March 2005. The strategy was to collect samples from the whole stretch of the landscape. At the same time, it was kept in mind to collect samples from each habitat category roughly in its proportion to the whole forest area. Sites were selected using land-use map of the study area which depicted these habitat SAURASHTRA UNIVERSITY, Rajkot, Gujarat (1994); K. S. VARMAN, ET AL., Direct and Indirect Methods of Counting Elephants: A Comparison of Results from Mudumalai Santuary, PROCEEDINGS OF THE INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON CONSERVATION OF ASIAN ELEPHANTS, BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY (1995); Y. BHATNAGAR, Ranging and Habitat Utilization by Himalayan Ibex (Capra ibex sibirica) in Pin Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (Ph.D Thesis) SAURASHTRA UNIVERSITY, Rajkot, Gujarat (1997); N. MANJREKAR, Feeding Ecology of Ibex (Capra ibex sibirica) in Pin Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (PhD Thesis) SAURASHTRA UNIVERSITY, Rajkot, Gujarat (1997).

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categories. Each site was carefully selected so as to avoid edges of habitat patches. At each of these sites, a transect of 0.5 km length was walked. At every 100 m along this transect pellet plots were laid. A total of 79 transects were walked and the total number of plots studied was 395. Tiger’s preferred prey includes large forest ungulates. 34 In the study area, this group is commonly represented by chital (Axis axis), sambar (Cervus unicolor), wild-boar (Sus scrofa), and bison (Bos gaurus). Others like barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), chowshinga (Tetracerus quadricornis) and nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) were also rarely encountered. Within the forest habitat, it was assumed that ungulates show preferences for different habitat conditions imposed by the structure and composition of forest. Thus an index of ungulates’ use for each forest type was estimated.

Prioritizing Routes After deriving a likely route of travel for the tiger, additional information was required to adequately design a dispersal corridor. Key questions like the width of the proposed corridor or management prescriptions for the habitat surrounding the corridor route needed to be evolved in order to suitably develop and implement the corridor across the landscape. With reference to width of the corridor, some workers have suggested that the width of the corridor should ideally be determined using home range data. For the focal species to permanently occupy the corridor, it should be as wide as one home range of the dispersing animal. 35 Paucity of sufficient habitat and large home ranges of tigers, however, completely discounted the possibility of a one home range wide corridor in the study area. Tigers have very large home ranges which have been reported to be up to 30–40 kilometers or even larger.


K. U. KARANTH, Tiger Ecology and Conservation in the Indian Subcontinent, 100 JOURNAL OF BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY 169–189 (2003). 35 MCKENZIE, supra note 10; R. L. HARRISON, Towards a Theory of Inter-refuge Corridor Design, 6 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 293–295 (1992).

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In more practical terms, broad guidelines with reference to width and habitat aspects while designing wildlife corridors have been suggested by some workers. Bond suggested that the corridor should be as wide as possible. 36 The corridor width may vary with habitat type or target species, but a rule of thumb is about a minimum of 1,000 feet wide but larger if possible. Maximization of land uses adjacent to the corridor that reduce human impacts is also desirable.37 Also, isolation effects along corridors can be offset by having surrounding habitat similar to that found within corridors.38

Results Habitat Mapping The pellet count data was analyzed for estimating mean pellet density for each habitat type. This pellet density was first estimated as number of pellet groups per plot. TABLE S1 shows these densities with an estimate of Standard Error (SE) of each. These estimates were then converted to number of pellet groups per Hectare (TABLE S2). Based on these pellet densities, the habitat types were ranked to know the preferences of different ungulate species. For each habitat type, ranks for all ungulate species were summed up to arrive at a cumulative ranking of all prey bases for each habitat type. For all species of prey and livestock, the habitats are ranked based on pellet density estimates. The habitat with highest pellet density is assigned rank 1 and the lowest, including 0, a rank of 6 (TABLE S3). While there are great, almost antagonistic differences among various prey species in their habitat selection e.g. Sambar and Chital, a summation of all ranks gives a 36

MONICA BOND, Principles of Wildlife Corridor Design, Center for Biological Diversity (2003) available at 37 BEIER, supra note 11. 38 M. V. LOMOLINO & D. R. PERAULT, Assembly and Disassembly of Mammal Communities in a Fragmented Temperate Rain Forest, 81 ECOLOGY 1517â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1532 (2000).

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cumulative rank to each habitat type. This can be used as an indicator of the prey base rank of each habitat. According to these rankings, Bamboo Miscellaneous is the most preferred habitat and Teak the least preferred. TABLE S4 gives an account of zero counts i.e. the number and proportion of plots in each habitat type which recorded absence of pellet groups of a particular species. The percentage of zero count plots to all 395 plots in the bottom row indicates the abundance of prey species in relation to each other over the entire study area. It was found that Chital pellets were absent in less number of plots (79%) as compared with others which meant that Chital was found to be the most abundant animal in the study area. In contrast, barking deer pellets were not found in 98% of the plots indicating that barking deer was the least abundant of the studied animal species.

Corridor Delineation Three starting cells (from cells) were identified at the periphery of the Kanha National Park and a destination cell (source cell) was identified at the periphery of the Pench National Park end of the landscape. The three run options as described earlier were computed using cost path functions. The first run option, RO1, resulted in the optimal path shown in FIGURE 2a. Only one major path could be computed across the landscape using RO1 parameters. The path starts from the top edge of the Kanha National Park and largely runs through forested areas reaching the source cell at the periphery of the Pench national park. TABLE S5 highlights length of various segments of this optimal patch. Overall, the shortest connecting link from Kanha to Pench from this option is around 171 kilometers (segment 2+4) across the landscape. The RO1 corridor path has two weak links (FIGURE 2b) where connectivity is significantly jeopardized. Weak links in a corridor path can be described as those very fragile areas along the predicted corridor path that are highly constricted in width, have high forest fragmentation or have a high degree of anthropogenic presence and pressure. The first of these weak links, annotated as 1 in

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FIGURE 2b, has been found to be just 4 kilometers wide (FIGURE 3). The area is completely surrounded by agriculture fields. Water sources in this area are very scarce. The Nahle Sarra water tank is the major potential water source for migrating animals being situated outside forest area poses considerable risk for the migrating animal. The major villages inside the forest in this weak link are Mirchiwadi, Kacchar, and Sonawani. Even though human population of these villages is not more than 50, the livestock population is considerable creating grazing pressures in this area. The major vegetation type that forms the core part of this weak link area is Bamboo Miscellaneous. The Second weak link along the RO1 path annotated as 2 in FIGURE 2b is composed of a very narrow strip of vegetation. Human settlements and agrarian practices around this area are widespread and have considerably fragmented the forest. Surpati and Jhangul are the major human settlements located near this weak link. The human population of each of these villages is around 200. The Banjar river flowing through this areas is said to remain largely dry for most parts of the year except the rainy season. This area is characterized by miscellaneous vegetation and is highly fragmented with forest land interspersed with agricultural area. FIGURE 2 a. Optimal tiger migration path based on run option 1 weight scheme being equal. b. Weak links along the path indicated by rectangles.

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FIGURE 3. Weak link 1 identified by Run Option 1

The second run option, RO2, resulted in the optimal paths shown in FIGURE 4a. Two paths emerge with this run option. One of these paths is segment 3 while the other path is segment 4 both of which merge into common path 2, just as they leave the Kanha tiger reserve area. The common segment 2, which traverses through the major part of the corridor landscape apparently looks quite similar to the common segment (2) generated by RO1. Careful observation however reveals that there are important differences in the RO segment 2 which has moved eastward in some portions of the landscape when compared to the common segment of RO1 (FIGURE 3). The shortest connecting link from Kanha to Pench resulting from this option is around 161 kilometers (segment 2+4) which is about 10 kilometers shorter than route predicted by RO1. Like RO1, the predicted migratory path has two weak link areas. The area where weak link 1 is located in the RO2 path is the same as in RO1. However, weak Link 2 in the RO2 path (the area near west boundary of Kanha Tiger Reserve) appears to be extended due to segment 3 path in RO2. The forest area is severely fragmented with interspersed agricultural land. Many small villages are located in this area of which the major villages include Kamta, Tatri, and Jhangul. The human population and livestock population in the area is substantial. The habitat type is largely miscellaneous with scanty

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Bamboo miscellaneous vegetation near Jhangul. In some areas, teak (old plantation) is also present. FIGURE 4 a. Cost Path identified by Run Option II. b. Cost Path identified by Run Option III. c. Weak links along path identified by Run Option III.

The third run option, RO3, resulted in the optimal paths shown in Figure 4b. This option was based on the weighting scheme in which cover, prey and availability of water were considered twice as important as other model variables. RO3 results in three path options. While the common segment and path option 3 and 4 are quite identical to RO2, segment 5 starting from the lower periphery of the Kanha Tiger reserve, traverses a course bordering the southern periphery of the landscape before merging midway with the common segment 2 at Lalbarra. Segment 2+3 in this run option has a total length of 151 kilometers, segment 2+4 has a total length of 158 kilometers while segment 2+5 (from the point where 5 merges with 2) totals around 145 kilometers. It is worth mentioning that the length of segment 2 in the RO3 option is 33 kilometers shorter than that in RO1 and 11 kilometers shorter than RO2. This is because in RO3â&#x20AC;&#x201C; unlike in RO1 and RO2â&#x20AC;&#x201C; segment 2 terminates at the point where it is met by segment 3. FIGURE 4c shows weak links along RO3 corridor path. While weak links 1 and 4 are the same as those mentioned in the RO1 and RO2 paths, two new weak links annotated as 2 and 3 (FIGURE 4c) appear in the RO3 path. These weak links suffer from severe fragmentation of forest due to anthropogenic pressures and

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cultivation. The areas have considerable human presence in surrounding proximity. Prominent villages include Durenda and Tengni Khurd. The Wainganga River flows vertically down to bisect the forest patch. Considering the predicted path generated by RO3 as a more likely route, we proposed corridor development strategies based on a broader area proximate to the predicted corridor path. Accordingly, in a bid to maximize corridor width, a 2â&#x20AC;&#x201C;6 kilometer buffer was demarcated around the predicted corridor route. One of the six segments of the predicted corridor path was overlaid on top of the satellite image. Such an overlay provides a good idea of the status of forest fragmentation in various buffer zones and the difficulty in having a uniformly wide corridor width. The buffers were also overlaid on top of compartment boundaries to identify those compartments that fall around the corridor and to understand distribution of forest cover within them. This resulted in identification of weak links that can be taken up for development of corridor. Bhamni range near Jhangul was one such prominent weak link identified with respect to long term corridor sustainability. In this forest range, to assess the ground situation in terms of wildlife-human interactions, wildlife status, and forest cover quality nine villages were surveyed using a questionnaire. Data gathered revealed that local people had strong emotional and cultural ties with the surrounding forest areas and acknowledged the role of the forest in terms of their livelihood and sustainability of wildlife. They are actively involved in protecting local forests via â&#x20AC;&#x153;Van Suraksha Samitiâ&#x20AC;? (Forest protection committee). However, the younger generation did not appear to be entirely enthusiastic about the importance of conserving tiger habitat given the backdrop of pressing concerns relating to livelihood issues and the potential for man-animal conflict. Based on the buffer overlay on top of the satellite image and the ground survey, it was observed that most of the corridor area possesses sufficient canopy cover. We also found the need of understory development and availability of open grasslands as important factors in maintaining prey abundance throughout the

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proposed corridor. Bamboo vegetation was observed to be in its recovery stage at several places; hence, we also recommend special attention towards protection and regeneration of Bamboo as understory vegetation for herbivores. Ground hugging forest fires evidenced at many places throughout the weak link areas like Jhangul range resulted in destruction of the understory vegetation. Control measures for forest fires are therefore necessary for long term corridor sustainability. Availability of water was identified as a key issue in enhancing the feasibility of the proposed wildlife corridor as most of the water sources go dry during summers. We analyzed the distances between major perennial water bodies along all the segments of the corridor and found the distance to range between 12â&#x20AC;&#x201C;29 km. To create an optimal water availability scenario for the area, water should be present within 5 km from any point of the corridor. We identified several forest compartments for creation of artificial water holes to fill in the gaps (TABLE S6). Looking at the long term corridor establishment and conservation process, we also identified a few land parcels which are currently under private ownership, for acquisition and assimilation into the corridor area. This was especially required for areas surrounding the weak links to ensure connectivity. One such area was Ari weak link depicted in FIGURE 5a, where the probable land parcel for acquisition is displayed using a hatched polygon. We are of the view that if acquisition of such land for corridor was possible then it could be restored to its original vegetation composition in future. Using topographic maps for the area we identified the settlements for Lalburra-South Lamta weak link as well as East Baihar and Bahmni weak links, which can be considered for possible land acquisition. Given the fact that land acquisition has become a politically nuanced subject in India, this can be a challenging task in which case alternate links in the corridor as brought out by this study and which are under the control of the state forest department would have to be appropriately consolidated.

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FIGURE 5a. Ari weak link showing required land parcel on the satellite image. b. Potential ecotourism spots across the corridor.

Identifying and promoting locations suitable for ecotourism was one of our key recommendations. Ecotourism has been already adopted in several regions of India attracting a growing number of tourists and possibly raising funding for the conservation. 39 The Kanha and Pench National Parks area is world famous for being action theatre of the Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. This study identified a few sites across the corridor landscape based on their potential for scenic beauty, animal sighting, proximity to local communities, access, residential infrastructure and geographical spread which could possibly act as ecotourism hubs where local communities could be involved. In particular, Rukhar, Sakata, Sonawani, Kopijhopla, Turur, and Jhangul (FIGURE 5b) hold considerable potential for initiating an integrated ecotourism programme. While there is a tremendous ecotourism potential in the area, its implementation might be quite challenging in terms of defining clear set of operating guidelines identifying mechanisms of equitable sharing of revenues with local communities.40

Discussion 39

MINISTRY OF TOURISM, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA: INCREDIBLE INDIA INITIATIVE, ECOTOURISM, (2012) available at 40 WORLD WILDLIFE FUND, WWF INTERNATIONAL, Guidelines for Communitybased Ecotourism Development, (2001) available at

Opportunities of Habitat Connectivity for Tiger (Panthera tigris) between Kanha and Pench National Parks in Madhya Pradesh, India 57

Considering all options described above, it was observed that corridor paths emerging from RO3 provide more diverse connectivity options when compared to RO1 and RO2, if a holistic long term perspective is to be taken in terms of corridor development in the region. One of the primary reasons for the superiority of RO3 over RO1 and RO2 is the alternate connectivity route provided by link segment 5. This new connecting path passing through Lalbarra, South Lamta, North Lamta, West Baihar, East Baihar and tapering into the Kanha National Park has not been delineated in RO1 and RO2. The availability of segment 5â&#x20AC;&#x201D;even though seemingly difficult due the highlighted weak linksâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;considerably expands connectivity options in the whole landscape as forests in the Balaghat forest division (south of Kanha) also conjoin segment 5 forests. This opens up new avenues of animal dispersal from even other areas down south not specifically considered by this study. This connectivity is clearly visible on satellite imagery of the larger landscape. Hence the route delineated as a result of RO3 was considered the most suitable corridor option for focusing on development of a corridor even though RO1 and RO2 are valid movement corridors which might also be potentially utilized by dispersing tigers. As the forest land for purposes of effective management is divided into administrative units like circle, division, range and compartments, it was felt important that the corridor path generated by RO3 be overlaid on forest compartments falling in various forest ranges to provide a administratively familiar ground reference for the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department field staff developing and managing the corridor. TABLE S7 lists forest ranges and compartments through with the RO3 corridor passes with the exception of the Bahmani range for which compartment maps were not available at the time of this study. The present study covered a very large landscape focusing primarily on finding potential corridor alternatives connecting two major protected areas in central India. While the study isolated and recommended a preferred corridor path between the two bearing high potential for development, the study faced limitations due to paucity of detailed field data at this scale on

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tiger sightings and current use of the proposed corridor habitat by the target species. The forest department, till the period in which this study was conducted, did not keep detailed systematic scientific records on habitat use, prey abundance, predator abundance, target species movement and gap areas all of which could have further informed our study. The effectiveness of the LCP method in delineation of wildlife corridors has been questioned on the grounds of over reliance on remotely sensed habitat maps, use of expert opinion in assigning costs and ambiguity on deciding on the length and width requirements of the proposed corridors cautioning that LCP based corridor studies need to justify the above in terms of biological or empirical foundations.41 While the criticisms and cautions in use of the LCP method are noteworthy, there have been many studies that have used the LCP method quite effectively in identification of wildlife corridors and predicting animal dispersal. 42 The present study tried to offset these issues to the extent possible under limitations posed by paucity of data over this vast landscape. The study was also limited by lack of field validation in support of the identified corridor routes. Future work would require radio/GPS collaring of dispersing animals to further understand movement dynamics towards validation of corridor routes suggested by this study. It will be worthwhile to caution that while our study has identified a few potential corridors for tigers, it cannot claim that the identified corridors would be the only routes that may be used by dispersing tigers. It is indeed possible that dispersing animals may also use other routes. 41

BEIER, supra note 30. BATES, supra note 29; S. SCHADT, ET AL., Rule-based Assessment of Suitable Habitat and Patch Connectivity for the Eurasian Lynx in Germany, 12 JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY 1469–1483 (2002); E. WIKRAMANAYAKE, ET AL., Designing a Conservation Landscape for Tigers in Human-Dominated Environments, 18 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 839–844 (2004); C. W. EPPS, ET AL., Optimizing Dispersal and Corridor Models Using Landscape Genetics, 44 JOURNAL OF APPLIED ECOLOGY 714–724 (2007); M. HUCK, ET AL., Analyses of Least Cost Paths for Determining Effects of Habitat Types on Landscape Permeability: Wolves in Poland, 56 ACTA THERIOLOGICA 91–101 (2011). 42

Opportunities of Habitat Connectivity for Tiger (Panthera tigris) between Kanha and Pench National Parks in Madhya Pradesh, India 59

However, given the results of this study and considering the fact that tigers by nature are habitat generalists,43 the proposed routes present themselves with high potential for serving as movement corridors for tigers. If RO3 is conserved and developed over a period of time as recommended by this study, it may provide a very likely route for tiger movement between the two protected areas. The MPFD can also take up work for the development of RO1 in addition to RO3 which would greatly maximize connectivity options between these two very important PA’s. Although not specifically considered as part of this study, the development of the proposed corridor routes is also likely to serve as a dispersal corridor for another endangered species—the Asiatic wild dog or Dhole (Cuon alpinues). 44 Like tigers, the Asiatic wild dog is also a habitat generalist and its preferred prey requirements are somewhat analogous to those of the tiger.45 Karanth, Nichols, Karanth, Hines and Christensen, in their study of extinction patterns of large mammals in India have highlighted the need for creation of new protected areas and building interconnectivity between existing areas to ensure future continuity of species such as the wild dog whose historic ranges have been greatly diminished. 46 The potential use of the proposed corridor by Asiatic wild dogs would however require further studies and validation. Given the prevailing socio-economic conditions of the local population around most wildlife areas in India, we believe that the development and continuance of the proposed wildlife corridor between Kanha and Pench National parks cannot be 43

SAWYER, supra note 31; J. L. D. SMITH, The Role of Dispersal in Structuring the Chitwan Tiger Population, 124 BEHAVIOR 165–195 (1993); D. G. MIQUELLE, ET AL., Hierarchical Spatial Analysis of Amur Tiger Relationships to Habitat and Prey, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS 71-99 (1999). 44 See IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, (2011) available at 45 J. BORAH, ET AL., Food Habits of Dholes (Cuon alpinus ) in Satpura Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India in Mammalia, 73 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THE SYSTEMATICS, BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY OF MAMMALS 85–88 (2009). 46 KARANTH, supra note 10.

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sustained in the long run without active support and involvement of the local communities. We believe that an inclusive ecotourism programme with a focus on involving and benefitting local communities can be an important initiative in this direction. Karanth and DeFries have reported an increase in tourist numbers to both Kanha and Pench with annual growth rates between 2002–2008 at 14.5% and 15.9% for Kanha and Pench respectively. 47 Their data shows that domestic tourists form an overwhelming majority of annual visitors at both these locations. While opportunities emanating out of ecotourism are apparent from the above figures, there are numerous challenges that also need to be addressed. While Indian National Wildlife Action Plan mandates equitable sharing of ecotourism generated benefits with local communities, Karanth and DeFries report that tourism related employment of local people living within 10 km of PA’s is currently less than 0.001%. 48 Other studies have also suggested that contribution of ecotourism generated revenue to augment conservation programmes and improving lives of local people in many developing countries including India is highly inadequate. 49 If the opportunities arising out of ecotourism are to be utilized towards sustained conservation of the proposed corridor areas, inclusive enlistment of local communities through equitable benefit sharing will be vital. 50 Unless there is a value proposition for local communities in wildlife conservation via participation in ecotourism or by direct gainful employment in conservation programmes, it might be very difficult to get desired benefits ensuing from interconnection over vast landscapes. Some 47

K. K. KARANTH & R. DEFRIES, Nature-based Tourism in Indian Protected Areas: New Challenges for Park Management, 4 CONSERVATION LETTERS 137– 149 (2011). 48 Id. 49 M. P. BOOKBINDER, ET AL., Ecotourism’s Support of Biodiversity Conservation, 12 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 1399–1404 (1998); R. SCHEYVENS, Ecotourism and the Empowerment of Local Communities, 20 TOURISM MANAGEMENT 245–249 (1999); C. SANDBROOK, Local Economic Impact of Different Forms of Tourism, 3 CONSERVATION LETTERS 21–28 (2010). 50 Revised Guidelines for the Ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger, supra note 18.

Opportunities of Habitat Connectivity for Tiger (Panthera tigris) between Kanha and Pench National Parks in Madhya Pradesh, India 61

measures towards creating a sustainable ecotourism program for the study area have been suggested by Rathore, Dubey, Shrivastava, Pathak and Patil. 51 We would also like to draw attention to the fact that all actions towards development of the proposed corridor should be seen in light of long term conservation goals. It would be unrealistic to expect regular movement of the focal species across the corridor in immediate future. However, with the availability of the corridor, currently isolated tiger populations within Kanha and Pench are likely to disperse and interbreed with the passage of time. It is therefore essential that a wildlife movement monitoring program be put in place which would be of great value in understanding actual corridor utilization and uncover unaccounted stressors in the dispersal of the target species.

Conclusion This study has attempted to identify suitable corridor routes between two important protected areas in central India. According to Chetkiewicz, Clair and Boyce, most of the corridor studies view corridors as structural connectivity between isolated patches and do not pay attention to their expected functionality. 52 In the current study due emphasis has been given to elaborate functional usefulness of the corridor for the focal species. The GIS centric Least Cost Path approach was useful in modeling real world constraints such as road density, human settlement, railway density along with suitable habitat patches in identification of suitable corridors. The corridor links identified by this study if appropriately developed have considerable potential in offering additional habitat and viable connectivity for dispersal for tigers. It is expected that the development of the corridor area will also benefit other species.


C. S. RATHORE, ET AL., Promoting Eco-Tourism to Conserve Wildlife Corridors: A Strategy for the Kanhaâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Pench Landscape in India, 5 THE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT JOURNAL 1 (2008). 52 CHETKIEWICZ, supra note 18.

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A formal report has been submitted to the State Government of Madhya Pradesh conveying the findings about probable corridor paths, weak links and recommendations for improvement and long term conservation of the corridor. According to the Indian national tiger census report released recently, 53 conservation efforts within the protected national parks such as Kanha and Pench have resulted in increased population of tigers. The Indian National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in its revised guidelines to project tiger areas has places a high importance to conserving and developing tiger corridors.54 Thus, the current findings and recommendations hold considerable importance for furthering protection of the species by providing connectivity and dispersal opportunities in long term. Prevention and management of forest fires, increasing water availability by installing water holes, and relocation of certain villages would help in conservation of the corridor. Involvement of local communities in developing an integrated ecotourism program would help build a lasting relationship with local people whose help will be crucial in achieving conservation goals for this important wildlife area.


Supra note 6. Revised Guidelines for the Ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger, supra note 18. 54

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


LIVING WITH LIONS: THE ECONOMICS OF COEXISTENCE IN THE GIR FORESTS, INDIA∗ Kausik Banerjee, Yadvendradev V. Jhala, Kartikeya S. Chauhan & Chittranjan V. Dave Wildlife Institute of India

Abstract Rarely human communities coexist in harmony with large predators. Most often communities suffer due to predation on their stock while large carnivores suffer losses and at times extirpation due to retaliation. We examine the mechanisms permitting the coexistence of Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica) and pastoral communities (Maldharis) in the Gir forests, India. We monitored six Maldhari settlements between 2005 and 2007 to quantify seasonal livestock holding, density and losses due to predation and other causes. Lion density, estimated by mark recapture, was 15±0.1 SE/100 km2. Livestock density, estimated by total counts, ranged between 25/km2–31/km2 with buffaloes being most abundant. Average livestock holding of Maldhari families was 33±3 SE. Lions predated mostly on unproductive cattle (30%). Scat analysis (n = 165), predation events (n = 180) and seven continuous monitoring sessions of 1,798 hours on four radio-collared lions estimated livestock to contribute between 25 to 42% of lions’ biomass consumptions, of which only 16% was predated; rest scavenged. With free grazing rights within Gir forests, Maldharis offset 58±0.2 SE% of annual livestock rearing cost in comparison to non-forest dwelling pastoralists. With government compensation scheme for livestock predation, this profit margin augmented to 76±0.05 SE%. Lion density was ∗ This study was originally published in PLoS ONE 6(7) (2011). Formatting and references were changed to the style and citation requirements of WILDCAT CONSERVATION LEGAL AID SOCIETY.

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higher in areas with Maldhari livestock in comparison to areas without livestock. Thus, the current lifestyles and livestock holdings of Maldharis seem to be beneficial to both lions and local pastoralists. We conclude that a combination of strict protection regime for lions, Maldharis’ traditional reverence towards lions and the livelihood economics permit the delicate balance of lion-Maldhari coexistence. Indefinite increase in human and livestock population within Gir might upset this equilibrium undermining the conservation objectives. We see no end to compensation programs worldwide as they constitute a crucial element needed for human-carnivore coexistence.

Introduction Rarely do forest-dwelling pastoral communities coexist in harmony with large predators. Either the communities suffer substantial economic loss due to predation on their stock and/or large carnivores suffer heavy losses and even extirpation due to retaliation.1 Understanding people-carnivore relationship, therefore, becomes crucial especially for the conservation of large carnivores. 2 Although large carnivores sometimes kill humans,3 the major form of conflict arises due to their habit of predating livestock and the resulting threat on economic security of the pastorals. 4 Human communities react differently to this conflict depending on their religious beliefs, customs, cultures, actual and perceived magnitudes of economic losses and the legal status of

1 O. M. OGADA, ET AL., Limiting Depredation by African Carnivores: The Role of Livestock Husbandry, 17 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 1521–1530 (2003); C. INSKIP & A. ZIMMERMAN, Human-Felid Conflict: A Review of Patterns and Priorities Worldwide, 43 ORYX 18–34 (2009). 2 A. TREVES & K. U. KARANTH, Human–carnivore Conflict and Perspectives on Carnivore Management Worldwide, 17 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 1491–1499 (2003); K. U. KARANTH & R. CHELLAM, Carnivore Conservation at the Crossroads, 43 ORYX 1–2 (2009). 3 V. SABERWAL, ET AL., Lion-human Conflict in the Gir Forest, India, 8 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 501–507 (1994); C. PACKER, ET AL., Lion Attacks on Humans in Tanzania, 436 NATURE 927–928 (2005). 4 KARANTH, supra note 2.

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


carnivores. 5 Reactions range from total extermination of large carnivores, 6 occasional removal of problem animals,7 to tolerance and coexistence. 8 In a country like India which is home to approximately 1.2 billion people, 9 the majority (70%) being rural; forest resources 10 have been part of traditional livelihoods for generations. India’s pre-independence (1947) colonial exploitative forest policies and subsequently post-independence exclusionary forest management often gave rise to polarized conservation debates about the rights of forest-dwelling communities.11 Politics of ecology becomes more contentious with the pro-people groups often arguing about the merit of conservation governances that alienates traditional forest-dwellers’ access to forests and their resources, while the livelihood economics of forest dwellers are marginalized due to wildlife damage and poor access to markets. 12 The contrary view 5

M. J. GOLDMAN, ET AL., Maintaining Complex Relations with Large Cats: Maasai and Lions in Kenya and Tanzania, 15 HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF WILDLIFE 332–346 (2010). 6 D. L. MECH, Returning the Wolf to Yellowstone, THE GREATER YELLOWSTONE ECOSYSTEM: REDEFINING AMERICA'S WILDERNESS HERITAGE, (R. B. Keiter & M. S. Boyce eds. 1991). 7 V. ATHREYA, ET AL., Translocation as a Tool for Mitigating Conflict with Leopards in Human-dominated Landscapes of India, 25 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 133–41 (2011); K. U. KARANTH & R. GOPAL, An Ecology-Based Policy Framework for Human-Tiger Coexistence in India, PEOPLE AND WILDLIFE: CONFLICT OR COEXISTENCE? (R. Woodroffe, et al., eds. 2005). 8 S. R. RAVAL, The Gir National Park and the Maldharis: “Setting Aside,” RESIDENT PEOPLES AND NATIONAL PARKS–SOCIAL DILEMMAS AND STRATEGIES IN INTERNATIONAL CONSERVATION (P. C. West & S. R. Brechin eds. 1991). 9 Provisional Population Totals, Rural-Urban Distribution India Series 1, OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR GENERAL AND CENSUS COMMISSIONER, CENSUS OF INDIA PAPER 2, VOLUME 1 New Delhi (Data product 00-004-2011-Cen-Book (E) 2011). 10 N. D. RAI, The Ecology of Income: Can We have both Fruit and Forest? MAKING CONSERVATION WORK (G. Sahabuddin & M. Rangarajan eds. 2007). 11 BATTLES OVER NATURE: SCIENCE AND POLITICS OF CONSERVATION (V. Saberwal & M. Rangarajan eds. 2003); M. RANGARAJAN, FENCING THE FOREST: CONSERVATION AND ECOLOGICAL CHANGE IN INDIA’S CENTRAL PROVINCES 1860–1914 (Oxford University Press 1996). 12 W. M. ADAMS & J. HUTTON, People, Parks and Poverty: Political Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation, 5 CONSERVATION AND SOCIETY 147–83 (2007).

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by preservationists is that consumptive use by an increasing population of forest dwelling communities is unsustainable and detrimental to biodiversity conservation. 13 Two-thirds of India’s wildlife reserves are grazed by livestock 14 where they are often predated upon by large carnivores. 15 Traditional cultural, ethical and religious reverence towards life forms combined with recent legal protection is important in contributing to the continued survival of large carnivores in India. 16 Due to the changing values of a global economic world it is likely that even in rural areas these values will ultimately determine the fate of large carnivores.17 To date, pastoralist communities have shown tolerance to the presence of lions in the Gir forests. Our objective was to assess whether this tolerance was supported by economics. At the onset of the nineteenth century, Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica) became restricted to the Gir forests of western India and their numbers declined to around 50


A. DATTA, ET AL., Empty Forests: Large Carnivores and Prey Abundance in Namdhapa National Park, North-east India, 141 BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION 1429–35 (2008); R. GUHA, The Authoritarian Biologist and the Arrogance of Anti-humanism: Wildlife Conservation in the Third World, BATTLES OVER NATURE: SCIENCE AND POLITICS OF CONSERVATION (V. Saberwal & M. Rangarajan eds. 2003). 14 A. KOTHARI, ET AL., People and Protected Areas: Rethinking Conservation in India, 25 ECOLOGIST 188–94 (1995). 15 V. B. SAWARKAR, Animal Damage: Predation on Domestic Livestock by Large Carnivores, 112 INDIAN FORESTER 858–866 (1986). 16 M. GADGIL & R. THAPAR, Human Ecology in India: Some Historical Perspectives, 15 INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE REVIEW 209–223 (1990); R. RENUGADEVI, Environmental Ethics in the Hindu Vedas and Puranas in India, 4 AFRICAN JOURNAL OF HISTORY AND CULTURE 1–3 (2012); R. THAPAR, Aśoka and Buddhism as Reflected in the Aśokan Edicts, KING ASOKA AND BUDDHISM: HISTORICAL AND LITERARY STUDIES (A. Seneviratna ed. 1994); WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT, ACT NUMBER 53 OF 1972, 9 SEPTEMBER, 1972, MINISTRY OF LAW, JUSTICE AND COMPANY, New Delhi, available at . 17 M. J. MANFREDO, ET AL., Why are Public Values toward Wildlife Changing? 8 HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF WILDLIFE 287–306 (2003).

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


individuals due to hunting and habitat loss.18 Owing to the timely and stringent protection by the Rulers of Junagadh and subsequently during the post-independence by the State-run forest department; Gir lions have increased to about 400 and dispersed into a large tract of agro-pastoral landscape adjoining the Gir forests. 19 The Gir Forests have been inhabited by semi-nomadic pastoral communities called Maldharis for the past one and a half century. 20 Their religion is Hinduism and they have strong ethics and sentiments towards nature and natural resources. 21 They are primarily vegetarian and keep livestock for sale of dairy products. Due to their long history of living with lions that often predate on their livestock, it would be important to understand the underlying mechanisms that permit coexistence. In this article we quantify predation losses of livestock, estimate lion densities and diet and evaluate the economics of rearing livestock in lion habitats. We examined the notion that the tolerance of the Maldharis towards lions, 22 is not solely due to their beliefs and cultural sentiments but also because it is economically more profitable to live with lions.


N. B. KINNEAR, The Past and Present Distribution of the Lion in South Eastern Asia, 27 JOURNAL OF THE BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY 34–39 (1920); L. L. FENTON, THE RIFLE IN INDIA: BEING THE SPORTING EXPERIENCES OF AN INDIAN OFFICER (W. Thacker and Co. 1924). 19 H. S. SINGH & L. A. GIBSON, A Conservation Success Story in the otherwise Dire Megafauna Extinction Crisis: The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica) of Gir Forest, 144 BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION 1753–57 (2011); K. BANERJEE & Y. V. JHALA, Demographic Parameters of Endangered Asiatic Lions (Panthera leo persica) in Gir Forests, India, 93 JOURNAL OF MAMMALOGY (2012). 20 M. J. CASIMIR, Of Lions, Herders and Conservationists: Brief Notes on the Gir Forest National Park in Gujarat (western India), 5 NOMADIC PEOPLES 154– 161 (2001). 21 RAVAL, supra note 8. 22 RAVAL, supra note 8; H. S. SINGH & R. D. KAMBOJ, Biodiversity Conservation Plan for Gir (A Management Plan for Gir Sanctuary and National Park), Volume I, SASAN GIR WILDLIFE DIVISION, GUJARAT FOREST DEPARTMENT, Junagadh (1996).

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Methods Ethics Statement All permissions to carry out the field research were obtained from the Office of the Chief Wildlife Warden, Gujarat State and Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Government of India. Livestock counts were conducted with permission from their owners without any coercion.

Study Area Gir Protected Area (PA) [1,883 km2, 20°57′ to 21°20′ N latitude and 70°27′ to 71°13′ E longitude] is a dry deciduous forest, 23 situated in Gujarat province, western India (FIGURE 1) and is made up of a Sanctuary (with human settlements and regulated grazing and other rights; 24) covering 1,153 km2, a 259 km2 National Park (devoid of humans) and 471 km2 of additional reserve, protected and unclassified forests. Gir PA has a semi-arid climate with an average 25 minimum and maximum temperature ranging from 5° to 38°C and an average rainfall of 980 mm. Rugged hilly terrains form the catchments of seven perennial rivers. Dominant vegetation included Tectona grandis, Anogeissus spp, Acacia spp and Ziziphus spp.


H. G. CHAMPION & S. K. SETH, A Revised Survey of the Forest Types of India, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, New Delhi (1968). 24 WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT, supra note 16. 25 SINGH, supra note 22.

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


FIGURE 1. Study site within the Gir forests showing locations of different study Nesses buffered by average livestock foraging area, lion capture points and effective lion trapping area.

The maps inset show the location of the Gir PA in India and the study site within the eastern part of the Gir forests.

Gir has a diverse assemblage of wild fauna. Apart from the last free-ranging population of the Asiatic lion, some of the other carnivores are leopard (Panthera pardus), striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena), jackal (Canis aureus) and ratel (Mellivora capensis). Major wild prey species of lions were chital (Axis axis), sambar (Rusa unicolor), nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) and wild pig (Sus scrofa). 26 Gir Protected Area has 50 Maldhari settlements (nesses). A ness consists of a cluster of thatch and mud hutments of 3–20 Maldhari families. 27 Each Maldhari family rears about 20–100 regionally famous indigenous breed of livestock, primarily Jafrabadi breed of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and Gir breed of cattle (Bos indicus). Often one or two camels (Camelus dromidarius) are kept for carrying fuel wood and fodder. The sale of dairy products has always been the mainstay of Maldharis’ 26

SINGH, supra note 22. RAVAL, supra note 8; SINGH, supra note 22; K. VARMA, The Asiatic Lion and the Maldharis of Gir Forest: An Assessment of Indian Eco-development, 18 THE JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT 154–176 (2009). 27

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traditional economy. 28 Our study area covered the livestock grazing areas of a cluster of six nesses namely Asundrali, Dodhi, Gudjinjva, Khajuri, Leriya and Mindha (FIGURE 1) which represent a typical scenario across Gir PA.

Lion Density Estimation We estimated lion population using closed-population markrecapture.29 We used cues, including tracks, roars and alert behavior of prey to locate lions. The entire study area of eastern Gir PA was systematically searched by vehicle and on foot within a period of 3–4 days which represented a single occasion. A total effort of 53 days representing 17 occasions was expended. We approached lions within 10–30 meters to determine their whisker spot patterns with binoculars, and by a 15 to 60 X spotting scope. We individually identified lions (>1.5 year) from their unique whisker spot patterns and other permanent unique marks. 30 Close-up color photographs using an 80–400 mm zoom lens were taken of both sides of the face and a full-face view to supplement field drawings. 31 Capture histories of individual lions were used to make an X matrix, 32 formally tested for population closure 33 and analyzed using program CAPTURE 34 to deduce population size. The effectively sampled area was estimated by creating a polygon joining the outermost lion locations buffered 28

VARMA, supra note 27. K. H. POLLOCK, ET AL., Statistical Inference for Capture-recapture Experiments, 107 WILDLIFE MONOGRAPHS 1–97 (1990). 30 C. J. PENNYCUICK & J. RUDNAI, A Method of Identifying Individual Lions Panthera leo with an Analysis of the Reliability of Identification, 160 JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY 497–508 (1970). 31 Y. V. JHALA, ET AL., Population Estimation of Asiatic Lions, 96 JOURNAL OF THE BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY 3–15 (1999); Y. V. JHALA, ET AL., Monitoring Lions, MONITORING OF GIR, TECHNICAL REPORT, WILDLIFE INSTITUTE OF INDIA (Y. V. Jhala ed. 2004). 32 POLLOCK, supra note 29. 33 T. R. STANLEY & K. P. BURNHAM, A Closure Test for Time-specific Capturerecapture Data, 6 ECOLOGICAL STATISTICS 197–209 (1999). 34 E. A. REXSTAD & K. P. BURNHAM, User’s Guide for Interactive Program CAPTURE, COLORADO COOPERATIVE WILDLIFE RESEARCH UNIT, COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY, (1991). 29

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


by a width estimated by half of the mean maximum distance moved (½ MMDM) by recaptured lions. 35

Livestock Population and Density A total head count of livestock in each ness was carried out. Livestock were counted during evening hours when all livestock were corralled for the night. We recorded data on number and demographic structure of the livestock belonging to each family in a ness. We classified livestock as calf, juvenile, sub-adult and adult of both sexes. Adult female livestock were further classified into a) milk yielding, b) temporary dry but breeding age and c) non-productive. Seasonal livestock grazing circuits were estimated and mapped by accompanying three livestock herds from each ness in each season from early morning, when they leave to forage in the forest, till they return to the ness and were corralled for the night. Data was recorded on distance moved and linear displacement of livestock herds from the ness sites from 50 grazing circuits in the form of GPS (Garmin International, Kansas, USA) track logs. 36 Age-gender-productivity class composition of grazing herds as well as their spatial arrangement in a herd was also recorded at every 500 meter interval. Each ness site was buffered with its average seasonal foraging radius to compute the foraging area in a GIS map using program Arc GIS (ESRI, Redlands, CA). We calculated seasonal livestock density as the total number of livestock divided by the total foraging area. 37


K. U. KARANTH & J. D. NICHOLS, Estimation of Tiger Densities in India using Photographic Captures and Recaptures, 79 ECOLOGY 2852–62 (1998); K. BANERJEE, ET AL., Demographic Structure and Abundance of Asiatic Lions (Panthera leo persica) in Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat, India, 44 ORYX 248–51 (2010). 36 C. DAVE & Y. JHALA, Is Competition with Livestock Detrimental for Native Wild Ungulates? A Case Study of Chital (Axis axis) in Gir Forest, India, 27 JOURNAL OF TROPICAL ECOLOGY 239–247 (2011). 37 Id.

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Lion Food Habits Lions’ diet was determined by analysis of 165 lion scats 38 and by monitoring of four radio-collared lions continuously for 5–12 day sessions (detailed below) within the study area. Lion scats were distinguished from those of other predators, particularly leopard scats, based on associated signs, tracks and size. 39 We did not include ambiguous scats in the analysis. Prey remains such as hair, bones, hooves, quills and teeth of the prey consumed were identified to species using reference samples. 40 Data were analyzed as frequency of occurrence and percent occurrence. We assessed adequacy of sample size by plotting the cumulative proportional frequency of occurrence against number of analyzed scat samples of each prey item. 41 We used 1,000 bootstrap iterations 42 using SIMSTAT 43 to generate 95% confidence intervals on frequency of occurrence of different prey items in the lions’ diet. Due to a differential surface area to volume ratio of small versus large prey, the frequency of occurrence data was corrected to arrive at biomass consumption per collectible scat.44 We used 38

L. K. KORSCHGEN, Procedures for Food Habit Analysis, WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES MANUAL, THE WILDLIFE SOCIETY, (S. D. Schemnitz, ed.1980); U. KLARE, ET AL., A Comparison and Critique of Different Scatanalysis Methods for Determining Carnivore Diet, 41 MAMMAL REVIEW 294– 312 (2011). 39 P. JOSLIN, The Asiatic Lion: A Study of Ecology and Behavior, (partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Science), DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH, (1973). 40 S. MUKHERJEE, ET AL., Refined Techniques for the Analysis of Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica) Scats, 39 ACTA THERIOLOGICA 425–430 (1994); S. MUKHERJEE, ET AL., Standardization of Scat Analysis Techniques for Leopard (Panthera pardus) in Gir National Park, western India, 58 MAMMALIA 139–43 (1994). 41 B. JETHVA & Y. V. JHALA, Sample Size Considerations for Food Habit Studies of Wolves from Scats, 68 MAMMALIA 589–91 (2003). 42 C. J. KREBS, ECOLOGICAL METHODOLOGY, 654 (Harper & Row 1989). 43 N. PÉLÀDEAU, SIMSTAT 3.5, Provails Research, (1995) available at 44 T. J. FLOYD, ET AL., Relating Wolf Scat Content to Prey Consumed, 42 JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 528–532 (1978); B. B. ACKERMAN, ET AL.,

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


Ackerman’s equation [developed for cougar (Felis concolor)] to convert frequency of occurrence into biomass assuming lions to have a similar digestive physiology as cougars. The equation was y = 1.980+0.035 x, where y is the biomass of prey consumed (kg) to produce a single field collectable scat and x is the average body weight of the prey species (kg). The body weights of the potential prey species were taken from literature.45 Prey densities 46 were used as availability. We compared counts of each prey item in the scats with the estimated prey availability using 1,000 bootstrap iterations in program SCATMAN, 47 to assess selectivity 48 in utilization. Observed and expected proportions of prey species in the scats were then compared using a G test 49 with two tailed α = 0.05 level. If there was a pattern of overall selective prey utilization, lions’ use of each prey species as calculated by the program SCATMAN was further inspected. Food preference of lions in the study area was also computed by Jacob’s Index 50 due to its lower bias, smaller confidence intervals with low heterogeneity and freedom from non-linearity compared with other electivity indices.51 Although frequency of occurrence in scats is a reliable technique for understanding the range of diet items, the method usually cannot distinguish between prey that are killed or

Cougar Food Habits in Southern Utah, 48 JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT147–155 (1984). 45 G. B. SCHALLER, THE DEER AND THE TIGER, 370 (University of Chicago Press 1967); S. H. PRATER, THE BOOK OF INDIAN ANIMALS, (The Bombay Natural History Society 1971). 46 DAVE, supra note 36. 47 J. E. HINES & W. A. LINK, SCATMAN, USGS-Patuxant (Wildlife Research Center 1994) available at; W. A. LINK & K. U. KARANTH, Correcting for Overdispersion in Tests of Prey Selectivity, 75 ECOLOGY 2456–59 (1994). 48 B. F. J. MANLY, ET AL., RESOURCE SELECTION BY ANIMALS: STATISTICAL DESIGN AND ANALYSIS FOR FIELD STUDIES, 177 (Chapman and Hall 1992). 49 J. H. ZAR, BIOSTATISTICAL ANALYSIS, 5th edition, 960 (Prentice Hall 2010). 50 J. JACOB, Quantitative Measurement of Food Selection, 14 OECOLOGIA 413–17 (1974). 51 M. W. HAYWARD & GIH KERLEY, Prey Preferences of the Lion (Panthera leo), 267 JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY 309–322 (2005).

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scavenged. 52 Consequently occurrence of livestock in the lions’ diet is unreliable to assess lion-Maldhari conflict. Therefore, we additionally followed four radio-collared lions on foot and/or four-wheel drive for seven sessions ranging from continuous 192 hours to 360 hours per session to understand the starve-feed cycle of lion foraging behavior and distinguish between predation and scavenging events. 53 A total of 1,798 hours of monitoring data was recorded during the study period. During this duration, lions were kept in view or within 100 meter from the observers day and night. Lions in Gir are regularly exposed to humans on foot; we further habituated each radio-collared lion for 1–3 days by following it on foot prior to data collection. Radio-collared lions were tolerant to our presence within 20 m without any obvious alteration in their behavior. During dark nights, a flashlight was used at intervals of 30–60 minutes to ascertain lion location apart from the radio signals. All predation and the scavenging events by the lions were recorded during continuous monitoring. Feeding interval was defined as the time lapse between two subsequent feeding events. On average 75% of the biomass of each carcass/kill greater than 40 kg was observed to be utilized by the predators.54 We estimated livestocks’ contribution to lions’ diet from lion numbers in the study area obtained from lion density multiplied by daily intake requirement (7.3 kg/day/lion,55 scat analysis and continuous monitoring of radio-collared lions in the study area.


M. G. L. MILLS, A Comparison of Methods Used to Study Food Habits of Large African Carnivores, WILDLIFE 2001: POPULATIONS (C. McCulloch & R. H. Barret eds. 1992); B. D. JETHVA & Y. V. JHALA, Foraging Ecology, Economics and Conservation of Indian Wolves in the Bhal Region of Gujarat, Western India, 116 BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION 351–57 (2004). 53 G. B. SCHALLER, THE SERENGETI LION: A STUDY OF PREDATOR-PREY RELATIONS 480 (University of Chicago Press 1972); P. BEIER ET AL., Movement Patterns of Mountain Lions during Different Behaviors, 76 JOURNAL OF MAMMALOGY 1056–70 (1995). 54 R. CHELLAM, Ecology of the Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica), (partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Science), DEPARTMENT OF BIOSCIENCES, SAURASHTRA UNIVERSITY (1993). 55 JOSLIN, supra note 39.

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


Livestock Depredation Pattern At each study ness a local Maldhari was employed to provide information to the authors in the event of a livestock death. KB and/or KSC visited the ness site of the mortality event within 24 hrs and recorded data on the time of day of each attack, the number, species and age-sex-productivity class of livestock killed, approximate weight of the predated individual, name of the owner and the identity of the predator. Livestock that died due to natural causes were generally dumped at specific sites outside the nesses. We recorded scavenging events by large carnivores which were identified based on direct sightings, vocalization and signs. Information from the owners of dead/predated livestock was obtained on the market price of the livestock and if they had claimed compensation from the Government under the current livestock depredation scheme. The compensation claims were cross validated from the Forest Departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s records. The monetary value of livestock was assigned in accordance with average prevalent market rate. We compared this with the present compensation scheme provided by the Gujarat State Forest Department and the proportion of predation events claimed for compensation from the Government to estimate the offset of the capital loss incurred by the Maldharis due to livestock predation.

Lion Carrying Capacity In order to understand the relative significance of wild ungulates and Maldhari livestock in maintaining lion density in the study area, we used a regression model 56 that related prey biomass and lion density to estimate the ecological carrying capacity of the eastern Gir for lions. There are several approaches to indirectly predict carnivore density at a site; but studies have shown that it can be obtained more reliably by regressing against


M. W. HAYWARD, ET AL., Carrying Capacity of Large African Predators: Predictions and Tests, 139 BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION 219â&#x20AC;&#x201C;29 (2007).

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prey biomass. 57 The carnivore density derived from this relationship only works as long as no other mechanisms besides prey availability limit a carnivore population. We used prey biomass for predicting lion carrying capacity in our study area as other major top-down limiting factors like trophy hunting and incidence of epizootics,58 were not prevalent in Gir. 59 The model based on lions’ preferred prey species was used. The equation was y = −2.158+0.377×(r2 = 0.71, n = 23) where y is the log10 of lion density and x is the log10 of preferred prey biomass. 60 We deduced prey biomass of different species by multiplying their densities 61 with their respective unit weights. Since all the livestock units were not available for lion predation, we therefore assessed the lion carrying capacity for three different scenarios; i) no livestock biomass (depicting a situation where there were no Maldhari livestock inside the Gir forest), ii) 100% livestock biomass available and iii) 24% (based on our data of feeding events and predation we considered all carcasses of dead livestock and a proportion of dry females, sub-adults and calves that foraged within the forest to be available to lions; this proportion was about 24% of the total livestock population). This enabled us to examine the relative importance of different levels of livestock biomass in sustaining lion population in our study site.

57 C. CARBONE & J. L. GITTLEMAN, A Common Rule for the Scaling of Carnivore Density, 295 SCIENCE 2273–76 (2002). 58 B. M. KISSUI & C. PACKER, Top-down Population Regulation of a Top Predator: Lions in the Ngorongoro Crater, 271 PROCEEDING OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY LONDON B BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES 1867–1874 (2004); K. L. WHITMAN, ET AL., Modeling the Effects of Trophy Selection and Environmental Disturbance on a Simulated Population of African Lions, 21 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY 591–601 (2007). 59 B. PATHAK, ET AL., Biodiversity Conservation Plan for Gir: A Supplementary Management Plan 2002–2003 to 2006–2007, GUJARAT FOREST DEPARTMENT (2002). 60 HAYWARD, supra note 56. 61 DAVE, supra note 36; C. DAVE, Ecology of Chital (Axis axis) in Gir, (partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Science), DEPARTMENT OF BIOSCIENCES, SAURASHTRA UNIVERSITY (2008).

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


Cost of Lion Predation on Maldharisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Livestock Husbandry We compared the livestock rearing costs by a Maldhari herder living within Gir with a livestock herder living outside the forest. Maldhari livestock within Gir obtain most of their forage requirements from the forest free of cost, while a major proportion of the fodder for livestock outside the PA needed to be purchased. Occasional predation by lions is the cost of rearing livestock in the Gir forests. We developed a deterministic economic model where we hypothesized that all other costs and profits being equal between the forest dwelling Maldharis and pastoralists living outside, it would be economically profitable for the Maldharis to stay in the forest with lions, if cost of obtaining livestock forage was greater than the economic loss due to lion predation. The cost of lion predation was estimated in two parts: a. Capital loss - the market price of the predated livestock and b. Lost opportunity cost 62 i.e. the opportunity to earn from the predated livestock in the years to come had it not been killed. Hypothetically this component of cost (b) would occur if there was a deficit between market rates and government compensation paid for different livestock classes predated by lions. We calculated the lost opportunity cost as the amount of income that a Maldhari would have made from the predated livestock based on its life expectancy and productivity. We modeled two scenarios of Maldhari-lion economics; i) with the current state-run predation compensation scheme and ii) without any such compensation scheme to understand the efficacy of the predation compensation scheme in permitting lion-Maldhari coexistence inside the Gir forests and its implications for the larger lion-occupied agro-pastoral landscape as well. 62

J. M. BUCHANAN, Cost and Choice, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PUBLIC CHOICE (C. K. Rowley & F. Schneider eds. 2003).

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Results Lion Density We obtained 36 sightings of 20 individual lions (3 adult males, 10 adult females and 7 sub-adults). Plot of cumulative number of unique lions against lion sightings reached an asymptote suggesting adequacy of sampling. The model selection procedure of program CAPTURE selected the model incorporating time variation and individual heterogeneity (Mth, scored at 1). Program CloseTest supported population closure (χ212 = 30.2, P = 0.19). Capture probability of lions was 0.24 and the population estimate under Mth was 20±1 SE lions. Using the ½ MMDM approach, we estimated a buffer width of 2.4±0.2 SE km and an effectively sampled area of 131±17 SE km2. Lion density was estimated at 15.2±0.1 SE lions/100 km2.

Livestock Density, Demography and Holding The average foraging radius of livestock herds of six ness sites was 1.9±0.1 SE km. Some foraging areas of two or more nesses overlapped i.e. these areas were used by livestock from more than one nesses. Therefore, a common buffer of 1.9 km was created on the cluster of ness locations to compute livestock density. Livestock foraging area was maximum (95.2 km2) in premonsoon followed by 76.3 km2 during summer and minimum foraging area during winter (65.9 km2). All ness sites showed seasonal fluctuation in livestock population. Maximum livestock number was observed during monsoon while during winter and summer livestock numbers decreased due to emigration of the herders outside the Gir PA. The livestock density was 31.4/km2 in winter, 30.1/km2 in monsoon and 24.7/km2 during summer. The total livestock holding of the study nesses was 2,140±296 SE. Buffaloes were dominant contributing at 78.1%, while cattle (21.1%) and camels (0.8%) constituted the remainder

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


livestock numbers. Overall population structure of buffaloes and cattle was largely composed of adult and sub-adult females (FIGURE 2). Few adult males were kept for breeding purpose. The average livestock holding of a Maldhari family varied from 29±3 SE in summer to 31±3 SE in winter and 39±4 SE in the monsoon. FIGURE 2. Average seasonal livestock holding of Maldhari family within the Gir forests (Error bars are standard errors).

Average grazing herd size was 22±2 SE and was always of mixed composition of cattle and buffaloes. High priced, milk yielding livestock were rarely taken out of the corrals to graze. These were stall fed by forage collected from the forest and by concentrates purchased from the market. Average number of herdsmen accompanying herds was 2±0.04 SE. Spatial lay out of the herds were with cattle (low monetary value) leading, buffaloes (high monetary value) in the middle and juvenile/sub-adult animals (low monetary value) trailing. The herdsmen were usually mobile sometimes leading and at times pushing the herd from the rear.

Lion Food Habits Frequency of occurrence of all prey items in scats reached an asymptote after sampling over 130 scats; so our sample size of 165 scats was deemed sufficient. Most (97.6%) lion scat contained a single prey type, while 2.4% of the scats had two prey items. Wild ungulates comprising chital, sambar, nilgai and wild

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pig together accounted for 76.4% of all prey occurrences, while domestic livestock (buffalo 13.7% and cattle 7.8%) contributed the rest (TABLE 1). Percentage biomass contribution of different prey species to the lions’ diet was most for livestock (33.7%) followed by chital (28.9%) and sambar (28.3%). There was evidence of selective utilization of prey by lions (G = 76.9, P<0.001, d.f. = 5). Chital (χ2 = 12.3, P<0.001), sambar (χ2 = 103.4, P<0.001), nilgai (χ2 = 2.4, P<0.05) and wild pig (χ2 = 34.1, P<0.001) were found to be utilized more than their availability while buffaloes (χ2 = 60.3, P<0.001) were used less than their availability. Cattle (χ2 = 0.9, P = 0.33) were utilized in proportion to their availability. The order of prey preference by lions as estimated by Jacob’s Index was sambar, wild pig, nilgai, chital and cattle (FIGURE 3). FIGURE 3. Food preference of lions in the Gir forests, India based on Jacob’s index. 63

Program SCATMAN 64 suggests that at 10% CV *Chital (P<0.001), sambar (P<0.001), nilgai (P<0.05) and wild pig (P<0.001) were found to be positively selected while **buffaloes (P<0.001) were underused in proportion to their availabilities. Cattle (P = 0.33) were utilized in proportion to their availabilities. 63 64

JACOB, supra note 50. HINES, supra note 47.

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


TABLE 1. Prey species composition in Asiatic lion Panthera leo persica scats (n=165) and their relative biomass contribution to lion diet in eastern part of the Gir forests, India.

Livestock Depredation Pattern

Livestock Depredation Pattern We recorded a total 308 livestock mortalities from the six nesses between April 2005 and August 2007, of which 58.4% was due to lion predation, 3.2% was due to predation by leopards and 38.4% was due to other natural causes. Lion predation was mostly on cattle (69.4%) followed by buffaloes (29.4%) and camels (1.2%). Non-productive cattle dominated lion kills (FIGURE 4). Average age of livestock predated by lions was estimated at 4Âą0.2 SE years. Of the 118 events of natural death of livestock, 46.6% were scavenged by lions, mostly adult female buffalo carcasses (27.2%) reflecting a higher availability of this livestock category in the study area. FIGURE 4. Livestock utilization by lions in the Gir East Sanctuary, India showing percent contribution of different livestock classes in livestock feeding events documented by continuous monitoring on radiocollared lions.

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The 180 lion kills recorded involved 151 successful hunt events [average killed/hunt 1.2±0.5 SE]. The number of livestock killed per successful hunt was weakly correlated with the number of lions reported by the herders (Spearman rank correlation rs = 0.15, P = 0.03). Of the successful lion attack events on livestock, only 13% occurred within the ness when lions jumped into the fenced ness and killed livestock while 87% occurred in forests when livestock were out grazing. We did not record any leopard attack on grazing herds. In 68 events of lion attacks on grazing herds the herders could affirm the gender of the lions making the kills. Female lions with dependent cubs were responsible for 54.4% of the attacks; single male or male coalitions were responsible for 19.1% of the attacks and mixed groups of lions made 26.4% of the kills. Lionesses in the study area were found to raid livestock in proportion to the prevailing adult sex ratio in the population (χ21 = 0.19, P = 0.66). Thus all lions were equally likely to predate livestock. Most (49%) of the lion predation events on livestock were recorded during early morning (7 AM –11 AM), followed by 39% in late afternoon (3 PM –7 PM) [χ22 = 29.5, P<0.0001]. But during monsoon, most predation events (44%) occurred during late afternoon or evening (χ22 = 14.2, P<0.001) due to cooler ambient temperature, poor visibility owing to bad light, rain and thick vegetation undergrowth. Livestock losses to lions were different between seasons (χ22 = 6.5, P = 0.04), with 45% occurring in summer, followed by 30% in monsoon and 25% in winter. A crude estimate of total intake requirement of the lion population in the study area was about 124,733 kg for the study period of 28 months. Livestock were found to be contributing about 31,582 kg (25.3%) of biomass to the lion’s diet. Interfeeding interval of lions estimated by the continuous monitoring was 3.5±0.7 SE days with an average associated lion group size during feeding being 4±1 SE. Telemetry data showed that livestock composed 42% of lions’ feeding events (16% from predation and 26% was from scavenging on livestock carcasses). Wild ungulates were found to compose the remainder 58% of

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


lions’ feeding events (47% predated and 11% appropriated from leopard kills or other lion kills).

Lion Carrying Capacity Under the assumption of 100% availability of livestock biomass to lion predation, the lion carrying capacity was estimated to be 22 (95% CI 20–25) lions/100 km2 while with no availability of livestock, the lion carrying capacity was 12 (95% CI 9–15) lions/100 km2. Lion carrying capacity with 24% of livestock population available for lions was 16 (95% CI 13–18) lions/100 km2.

Economics of Lion Predation Annual fodder cost for maintaining 100 livestock was estimated to be 1,460,000 [1US$=50]. For forest-dwelling Maldhari this resource is available free of cost. Average cost of livestock units predated by lion was 4,018±278 SE. Maldharis incurred an annual capital loss of 33,751±2,335 SE/100 livestock by lion predation. Sixty four percent of this cost was offset by the government compensation (i.e. capital loss with Government compensation was 12,150±840 SE/100 livestock). The annual lost opportunity costs incurred by Maldharis was 136,156±3,430 SE/100 livestock with Government compensation. The same cost without Government compensation was 378,212±9,529 SE/100 livestock. By living in the Gir forests, 58±0.2 SE% of livestock rearing cost of Maldharis was accounted for by free forest resources in comparison to a non-forest dwelling pastoralist. With government predation compensation scheme this profit margin was further augmented to 76±0.05 SE% (TABLE 2). Cost saving (additional profit) by Maldharis living in Gir was therefore, 1,104,373/100 livestock/year (or 214 man-day wages/Maldhari family/month) and 840,717/100 livestock/year (or 163 man-day wages/Maldhari family/month) with and without a lion predation compensation scheme respectively in comparison with non-forest dwelling pastoralists.

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TABLE 2. Parameter values (95% CI) used for the deterministic model of Maldhari pastoral economics.

Discussion We found that presently Maldhari and lions coexist in a winwin state where lions get a considerable part of their food from Maldhari livestock and Maldharis profit substantially by free access to forest resources. Average annual financial loss/Maldhari household due to livestock predation by lions after offsetting by the compensation was minimal (2,038) and was only 5% of the average per capita income for Gujarat province and 7% of the national average during the fiscal year 2005â&#x20AC;&#x201C;06. 65 With free grazing rights and at current rate of compensation, additional profits of a Maldhari family residing inside Gir approximately amount to a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual minimal wage (213 man-day wages). Current government compensation scheme, though small in comparison to the value of free resources, was important as it provided a Maldhari family an additional monthly monetary advantage of 51 man-day wages to a no-compensation scenario (TABLE S2). We did not, however, consider the additional benefits Maldharis enjoy by dwelling inside Gir i.e. from other ecological services and amenities (collection of fuel wood and minor forest products, use of forest topsoil mixed with dung sold as manure, free access to water, job opportunities with the forest 65


Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


department and maintaining their social customs). These, when incorporated into our analysis, further augment the benefits Maldharis make by living inside Gir. The Maldhari-lion coexistence in Gir forests is long debated with one school of thought attributing ecological deterioration of the Gir to the traditional way of resource usage by Maldharis 66 and therefore advocates their relocation outside the PA. The other school, on the contrary, attributed exclusionary forest policy and insufficient compensation scheme by the Forest Department as causes of economic marginalization of Gir Maldharis. 67 Livestock has always been an important part of lion’s diet in Gir ranging between 83 to 25%. 68 We studied livestock depredation pattern by lions with a combination of methods viz., scat analysis, predation pattern and feeding events of the radio-collared lions in order to address inherent limitations of each method and estimated biomass contribution by domestic livestock in lions’ diet to range between 25 to 42% within eastern Gir PA. Past longterm research from Africa have shown that prey availability and density govern lion demography like cub survival and dispersal rates. 69 Our data suggested that the carrying capacity of lions modeled with available biomass of dead livestock and livestock classes vulnerable to lion predation (24%) was almost similar with the current lion density estimated in the study area (15 66

B. P. PATI, Impact of Livelihood Practices of Maldhari Tribe on Wildlife Habitat of Gir Protected Area, 126 INDIAN FORESTER 1120–27 (2000). 67 A. MUKHERJEE & C. K. BORAD, Integrated Approach Towards Conservation of Gir National Park: The Last Refuge of the Asiatic Lions, India, 13 BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION 2165–82 (2004). 68 JOSLIN, supra note 38; CHELLAM, supra note 54; V. MEENA, ET AL., Implications of Diet Composition of Asiatic Lions for their Conservation, 284 JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY 60–67 (2011); S. P. SINHA, Ecology of Wildlife with Special Reference to the Lion (Panthera leo persica) in Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, (partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Science) DEPARTMENT OF BIOSCIENCES, SAURASHTRA UNIVERSITY (1987). 69 SCHALLER, supra note 53; K. G. VAN ORSDOL, ET AL., Ecological Correlates of Lion Social Organization, 206 JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY 97–112 (1985); M. W. HAYWARD, ET AL., Do Fences Constrain Predator Movements on an Evolutionary Scale? Home Range, Food Intake and Movement Patterns of Large Predators Reintroduced to Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, 18 BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION 887–99 (2009).

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lions/100 km2). However, when we considered a hypothetical situation where there were no Maldhari settlements in the study area and therefore no availability of livestock biomass for lions, the predicted lion carrying capacity went down (12 lions/100 km2), albeit not statistically significantly. Moreover, lions in Gir obtained a major part of their diet from scavenging livestock. Being a free resource for lions, this optimized the Gir lions’ energy economics by maximizing the net food intake per unit time available for foraging. 70 Abrupt removal of livestock as a food source is likely to have a detrimental effect on lion density and demography in Gir. 71 We recommend that if removal of livestock is to be considered, it should be in a phased manner so as to allow natural wild prey population to build up and replace livestock. 72 However, diet of wild ungulates in Gir differed substantially from those of livestock; 73 therefore, removal of livestock was unlikely to be fully compensated by increase in wild ungulate biomass. With a lion focused conservation objective of Gir, maintaining livestock at the current or lower stocking densities could also be considered as an alternative management practice. To avoid negative impacts of livestock trampling, livestock numbers should be regulated at the nesses with their locations rotated every 4–5 years. 74 Human attitudes towards large carnivores have been shaped by psychology of fear and personal experience,75 and also depend


D. W. STEPHENS & J. R. KREBS, FORAGING THEORY, (Princeton University Press 1986). 71 JHALA, supra note 31; Y. V. JHALA, ET AL., Social Organization and Dispersal of Asiatic Lions, Technical Report, Vol. I , Gujarat Forest Department, WILDLIFE INSTITUTE OF INDIA (2011). 72 H. S. SINGH, THE GIR LION—PANTHERA LEO PERSICA: A NATURAL HISTORY, CONSERVATION STATUS AND FUTURE PROSPECT, (Pugmark Qumulus Consortium 2007). 73 DAVE, supra note 61; S. BERWICK, The Community of Wild Ruminants in the Gir Ecosystem, (partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Science) YALE UNIVERSITY (1974). 74 DAVE, supra note 36. 75 E. RØSKAFT, ET AL., Patterns of Self-reported Fear towards Large Carnivores among the Norwegian Public, 24 EVOLUTION AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR 184–98 (2003).

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


on their attachment to livestock. 76 Gir Maldharis did not view lions as a threat to their lives 77 and there was no lion attack on humans within our study area during past two decades. Moreover, unproductive cattle (such as males and poor condition calves, aged, and dying cattle) were mostly targeted by lion predation. The average cost of such unproductive cattle was 3,425 and at times, it was not profitable to maintain them by stall-feeding. We believe that retaliatory killing of lions is not currently prevalent in Gir due to low economic losses, Maldharis’ cultural ethics, combined with strict legal enforcement by the Gir Park Management. But traditional value systems of the Maldharis are rapidly changing under the influence of globalization and free markets. 78 Younger generations are less tolerant to even small monitory losses which older generations considered as faitaccompli. We anticipate that such changes in attitudes and values are likely to result in a change of Maldharis’ harmonious coexistence with lions. A similar transition has happened with the pastoral Masai community in the eastern Africa within the past two decades. 79 With this change in values, comes complacency towards professional lion poachers by local communities. This was probably the case when 8–10 lions were poached for their body parts in the recent past in Gir 80 and elsewhere in India in the case of tigers, Panthera tigris. 81 Reparative measures such as compensation programs become important herein, mitigating


J. VITTERSØ, ET AL., Attachment to Livestock and Attitudes toward Large Carnivores, 11 ANTHROZOOS 210–17 (1998). 77 RAVAL, supra note 8. 78 MANFREDO, supra note 17; S. P. SINHA, ET AL., Man-animal Conflicts in and around Protected Areas: A Case Study on Gir National Park/Wildlife Sanctuary, Junagadh, Gujarat, India, 31 TIGERPAPER 27–32 (2004). 79 STAYING MAASAI: LIVELIHOODS, CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN EAST AFRICAN RANGELANDS (K. Homewood et al., eds. 2009); J. T. MCCABE, ET AL., Adopting Cultivation to Remain Pastoralists: The Diversification of Maasai Livelihoods in Northern Tanzania, 38 HUMAN ECOLOGY 321–34 (2010). 80 SINGH, supra note 72; J. FAIR, Crime-busting to Save Rare Lions, 39 NEWS OF EARTH, BBC WILDLIFE (March 2009). 81 E. CHECK, The Tiger’s Retreat, 441 NATURE 927–30 (2006); R. GOPAL, ET AL., Evaluating the Status of the Endangered Tiger Panthera tigris and its Prey in Panna Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India, 44 ORYX 383–98 (2010).

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conflicts by offsetting monetary costs to local communities.82 The success of Asiatic lion conservation is partly attributable to the early policies (1930s) of the erstwhile Junagadh Nawabs 83 and later to the state run Gujarat Forest Department in implementing compensation schemes for livestock predation.84 In order to reflect the current market value of the livestock, the compensation rate is usually revised at an interval of every 6–8 years. 85 We found that the current compensation scheme substantially minimized lion-Maldhari conflicts by lowering the latter’s capital loss by 64% and allowing them to make an additional monthly monetary profit of 51 man-day wages/family in comparison to a non-compensation scenario. We believe that this had a positive role in shaping Maldharis’ perceptions about their personal losses and thus acts as an important factor promoting their coexistence with lions. A similar pattern has been observed among the Masai community residing around the Mbirkani Ranch, Kenya where individuals receiving compensation from a local NGO showed a lower propensity to kill lions and were found to bear more positive attitude towards conservation.86 The current compensation scheme in Gir addresses Maldharis’ capital loss to a significant extent. Increasing this to current market value of the predated livestock by timely revision (every 2 years) would ensure that there is no lost opportunity cost to the local communities. However, recognizing the role of compensation policies in providing instant financial relief, the procedural framework of the current system in Gir could be more streamlined and provisions of onsite payments with active involvement of local non-governmental organizations like that 82

M. AGARWALA, ET AL., Paying for Wolves in Solapur, India and Wisconsin, USA: Comparing Compensation Rules and Practice to understand the Goals and Politics of Wolf Conservation, 143 BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION 2945–55 (2010). 83 E. P. GEE, THE WILDLIFE OF INDIA, (Collins 1964). 84 Supra note 72. 85 Supra note 72. 86 L. HAZZAH, ET AL., Lions and Warriors: Social Factors Underlying Declining African Lion Populations and the Effect of Incentive-based Management in Kenya, 142 BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION 2428–37 (2009); S. M. MACLENNAN, ET AL., Evaluation of a Compensation Scheme to bring about Pastoralist Tolerance of Lions, 142 BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION 2419–27 (2009).

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


prevailing in Corbett and Dudwa Tiger Reserves, India 87 could also be adopted. Maldharis and Masai seemed to have mastered husbandry practices over generations to minimize predation losses to lions and permit coexistence. Both communities corral their livestock at night in their ‘bomas’ and graze the livestock during daytime, avoiding peak lion activity period and having expert herdsmen. 88 In Gir, cattle were the preferred prey of lions as they are easy to kill due to their behavior of flight when attacked while buffaloes have a defense strategy and often attack lions as a cohesive group. 89 Cattle are relatively less priced in comparison to buffaloes and therefore Maldhari grazing herds were always observed to have a few non-productive cattle. Thus, when lions attack, they are more likely to kill these vulnerable cattle. Moreover, Maldhari herdsmen orient their herds with cattle leading, buffaloes in the middle and juvenile animals trailing. We speculate that the current traditional mechanism of warding off lion predation by corralling livestock at night and having a mixed grazing herd composition being always accompanied by expert herdsmen minimized the risks and economic losses to lion predation. In Gir since livestock are reared only for dairy products and are not consumed by Maldharis 90 there is a large cohort of old and weak cattle in which natural mortality is high and these carcasses are available to lions for scavenging. We conclude that the underlying economics of Maldhari livelihood securities, their religious sentiments, ecological benefits enjoyed by pastoralists living in lion habitats and strict

87 Landscapes of Hope: Conservation of the Tiger, Rhino and the Asian Elephant, SPECIES CONSERVATION PROGRAMME, WWF-INDIA SECRETARIAT, (2007) available at 88 D. IKANDA & C. PACKER, Ritual vs. Retaliatory Killing of African Lions in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania, 6 ENDANGERED SPECIES RESEARCH 67–74 (2008). 89 C. J. TAMBLING, ET AL., Spatial and Temporal Changes in Group Dynamics and Range Use Enable Anti-predator Responses in African Buffalo, 93 ECOLOGY 1297–1304 (2012). 90 RAVAL, supra note 8; VARMA, supra note 27.

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legal protection regime for lions in the Gir forests, 91 are all needed as recipe for lion-Maldhari coexistence. Indefinite increase in human and livestock population within the Gir forests would upset this balance by altering the forest composition or even population dynamics of wild prey 92 and would thus be detrimental for the conservation objective of the Protected Area. Presently lions are dispersing out of the Gir PA and have already occupied about 9,000 km2 of agro-pastoral landscape. 93 Our ongoing telemetry study suggests that lions outside the PA depend substantially on livestock, thereby increasing the chances of human-lion conflict in the region.94 In the agro-pastoral landscapes, there are no free economic benefits for the communities. Government compensation scheme therefore becomes extremely crucial for maintaining the goodwill of the communities towards lion conservation. Due to high human densities and demand for land most human free inviolate protected areas in India and elsewhere are too small to hold viable populations of large carnivores for the long-term. 95 Coexistence with humans therefore becomes essential if large carnivores were to be conserved for the longterm. Considering the case of Asiatic lions, only about 10% of the lion population resides in the human-free Gir National Park, 62% of lion population resides in the Gir Sanctuary (with Maldhari settlements) while 22% of the adult lion population resides in the human-dominated agro-pastoral landscape of Saurashtra. 96 A


RAVAL, supra note 8; SINGH, supra note 22, PATHAK, supra note 59. N. OWEN-SMITH, ADAPTIVE HERBIVORE ECOLOGY: FROM RESOURCES TO POPULATIONS IN VARIABLE ENVIRONMENTS, (Cambridge University Press 2002). 93 SINGH, supra note 19; BANERJEE, supra note 19; BANERJEE, supra note 35. 94 JHALA, supra note 71; K. BANERJEE, Ranging Patterns, Habitat Use and Food Habits of the Satellite Lion Populations (Panthera leo persica) in Gujarat, India, (partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Science) FOREST RESEARCH INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF INDIA (2012). 95 K. U. KARANTH, Debating Conservation as if Reality Matters, 1 CONSERVATION AND SOCIETY 65â&#x20AC;&#x201C;68 (2003); S. NARAIN, ET AL., Joining the Dots: The Report of the Tiger Task Force, PROJECT TIGER, MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (2005). 96 JHALA, supra note 71; Distribution of Asiatic Lions in Gir National Park, Sanctuary and Other Areas in the 13th Asiatic Lion Population Estimate 2010, 92

Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India


comparable situation exists with many tiger populations in India as well. 97 Such scenarios are common to several developing countries and activities like paying compensation should be considered as ecosystem maintenance costs that need to be paid to the local communities by Global societies or Governments for the continued survival of large carnivores within landscapes of conflict to promote coexistence. This would foster greater tolerance by local communities towards lion conservation in the Gir landscape and for other large carnivores elsewhere. We see no end to this or similar programs worldwide and believe that they form an integral component of coexistence and an important component of conserving viable populations of large carnivores.

GUJARAT FOREST DEPARTMENT (2010) available at 97 Status of the Tigers, Co-predators, and Prey in India, NATIONAL TIGER CONSERVATION AUTHORITY, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AND WILDLIFE INSTITUTE OF INDIA, (Y. V. Jhala, et al., eds. 2011).

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A Review of CITES Decision 14.69 on Restricting Captive Tiger Populations to Levels Supportive Only to Conserve Wild Tigers 93

A REVIEW OF CITES DECISION 14.69 ON RESTRICTING CAPTIVE TIGER POPULATIONS TO LEVELS SUPPORTIVE ONLY TO CONSERVE WILD TIGERS Richard Hargreaves, LLB, FCILE International Legal Correspondent WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society Following the 62nd meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) Standing Committee in July 2012 (SC62), the CITES Secretariat issued Notification to the Parties No. 2012/054 on 3 September 2012 on the “Conservation of and trade in tigers and other [CITES] Appendix-I Asian big cat species.” 1 In the Notification the CITES Secretariat stated that: All [CITES] Parties with intensive operations breeding tigers on a commercial scale are requested to fully implement Decision 14.69 in respect of the number of breeding operations and also for the total number of tigers, and report to the Secretariat on the measures implemented to comply with this Decision. 2

The Secretariat also stated, inter alia, that “to enable a full assessment at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16), all Parties, and particularly range states of Asian big cats are requested to inform the Secretariat of (…) stockpiles of captive-bred or confiscated tiger body parts and derivatives; and any actions proposed to deal with the stockpiles.” The Secretariat

1 2

See Id.

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advised Parties that it “would appreciate receiving this information by 25 September 2012.” 3 It is hoped that all relevant Parties submitted substantive and timely responses to the Secretariat so that the full assessment of Asian big cats at CoP16 in March 2013 can be as meaningful as possible. If not, perhaps the present article may assist the Parties with the full assessment due at CoP16, specifically in relation to implementation and compliance with CITES Decision 14.69. Decision 14.69, adopted at CITES CoP14 in 2007 and still in force at the time of writing in late 2012, states: Parties with intensive operations breeding tigers on a commercial scale shall implement measures to restrict the captive population to a level supportive only to conserving wild tigers; tigers should not be bred for trade in their parts and derivatives. 4

At the 57th meeting of the CITES Standing Committee in July 2008 it was noted by a number of attendees that there was no reporting requirement attached to Decision 14.69 and yet many of those present were of the view that reports ought to be submitted. Accordingly, the CITES Standing Committee agreed to set up a working group whose remit would be “to clarify how the implementation of Decision 14.69 might best be reported to the Committee” with the general consensus being that reports should be submitted in readiness for the 58th meeting of the Standing Committee in July 2009.5 The CITES Secretariat subsequently issued Notification to the Parties No. 2008/059 dated 8 October 2008, for which it drew upon input from the working group and to which it attached an Annex providing “information and observations that Parties may


Id. See 5 See 4

A Review of CITES Decision 14.69 on Restricting Captive Tiger Populations to Levels Supportive Only to Conserve Wild Tigers 95

find of assistance in determining their response, if any, to Decision 14.69.” 6 •

trade in the opinion of the Secretariat, may be regarded for the purposes of this Decision as referring to both domestic and international trade;

intensive operations may be regarded as operations focused exclusively or primarily on the frequent production of tigers;

commercial scale may be regarded as a level of production that enables a breeding operation, or is intended to enable it, to derive a substantial proportion of its revenue from the production of tigers, including, but not limited to, sale of parts and derivatives; and

a level supportive only to conserving wild tigers may be regarded as a level determined solely by the objective of contributing to the long-term conservation of the species in the wild, having regard to the need to preserve the genetic diversity of existing subspecies and populations. 7

The Secretariat’s guideline definition of “a level supportive only to conserving wild tigers” is particularly significant because, as Nowell and Ling noted in 2007: Reintroduction [of animals into the wild from captivebred stock] is a laudable goal, when it is feasible, but there is no record of success with this in Tiger conservation. It has never been seriously attempted or successfully accomplished, and a review of scientific literature fails to find any advocates for it among

6 7

See Id.

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specialists with extensive experience in wild Tiger conservation. 8

In the circumstances the CITES Secretariat’s reference to “having regard to the need to preserve the genetic diversity of existing subspecies and populations” was more likely guidance to the effect that affected Parties should implement measures to restrict their captive tiger populations to only those animals of known genetic lineages in recognized regional studbook programs. In addition, it is submitted that the Secretariat might also acquiesce to Parties having a minimal number of additional animals in zoos not officially involved in scientifically managed captive breeding programs, provided that those tigers’ existence in captivity could be conclusively shown to contribute “to the long-term conservation of the species in the wild.” 9 Ascertaining the maximum number of tigers that the Parties could potentially need in captivity to contribute to the long-term conservation of the species in the wild, by having regard to the need to preserve the genetic diversity of existing subspecies and populations, i.e. within scientifically managed captive tiger breeding programs is comparatively straightforward. In 2010 Nyhus et al. advised that: More than 500 zoos, aquariums, and facilities are accredited by three major regional associations with managed captive tiger programs: North America’s Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), The European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA), and the Australasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria (ARAZPA). Zoos that belong to these associations manage tigers using standards, including those governing animal health,


KRISTIN NOWELL & XU LING, Taming the Tiger Trade: China’s Markets for Wild and Captive Tiger Products since the 1993 Domestic Trade Ban, TRAFFIC (2007).


Supra note 6.

A Review of CITES Decision 14.69 on Restricting Captive Tiger Populations to Levels Supportive Only to Conserve Wild Tigers 97

husbandry, genetic management, conservation and education. 10

The same year Kathy Traylor-Holzer explained that: Genetic management [within these scientifically managed captive tiger programs] strives to retain the same genetic variation in the captive population as that in the wild population from which it is derived. 11

Holzer futher stated that most of these “captive management programs have set a viability goal of retaining at least 90% of the gene diversity of the wild population for 100 years.” 12 Based on population projections using the figures for stud book animals Holzer advised, in 2010 that the global captive Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) population could reach 90% genetic diversity with genetic management and the global captive populations of Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) and Malayan tigers (Panthera tigris jacksonii) could be viable in the long term with “periodic supplementation with new founders from the wild.” 13 Holzer also advised around the same time that there were no “organized cooperative management programs” for Indochinese tigers (Panthera tigris corbetti) or Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) and, unfortunately, the South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) captive population was not viable in the long-term with only 69% gene diversity and none remaining in the wild. 14 Put simply it follows from this that the officially recognised, scientifically managed captive tiger breeding programs already had enough captive pure bred animals within their programs in 10

PHILIP J. NYHUS, ET AL., Thirteen Thousand and Counting: How Growing Captive Tiger Populations Threaten Wild Tigers, TIGERS OF THE WORLD: THE SCIENCE, POLITICS AND CONSERVATION OF PANTHERA TIGRIS (Philip J. Nyhus & Ron Tilson eds., 2nd ed., 2010). 11

KATHY TRAYLOR-HOLZER, The Science and Art of Managing Tigers in Captivity, TIGERS OF THE WORLD: THE SCIENCE, POLITICS AND CONSERVATION nd OF PANTHERA TIGRIS (Philip J. Nyhus & Ron Tilson eds., 2 ed., 2010). 12 Id. 13 Id. 14 Id.

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2010 when a total of 1,118 tigers of known genetic lineage were recognised as being within such programs. 15 Within this figure, Thailand was recognised as having 14 genuine pure bred Indochinese tigers of known genetic lineage in a recognized regional program (albeit not, as mentioned above, in an organized cooperative management program); China was recognised as having 67 South China tigers of known genetic lineage in captivity; North America was recognised as having a total of 267 Amur, Sumatran and Malayan tigers of known genetic lineage in captivity; and there were no tigers of known genetic lineage in captivity in Vietnam, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) or Cambodia. 16 Given these circumstances it is thus submitted that the only figures within the CITES Parties’ responses to Notification 2012/054 should be: 1. Updated figures for the captive bred populations referred to above; and 2. The figures for Parties’ other minimal holdings of captive bred tigers, in zoos not officially involved in scientifically managed captive breeding programs, whose existence in captivity could be conclusively shown to contribute to the long-term conservation of the species in the wild. Should the Parties refer to any captive bred tigers within their territories not falling within the above criteria, then it is thus submitted those would be references to captive-bred tigers being held in contravention of CITES Decision 14.69. Accordingly, inline with the guidance in Notification 2008/059, any such references should be accompanied by: •

15 16

A strategic plan, incorporating deadlines, for the phasing-out of any intensive breeding operations

NYHUS, supra note 10. NYHUS, supra note 10; HOLZER supra note 11.

A Review of CITES Decision 14.69 on Restricting Captive Tiger Populations to Levels Supportive Only to Conserve Wild Tigers 99

containing those tigers (or the conversion of such operations so that they are legitimately devoted solely to the conservation of tigers); and •

A policy with regard to what will happen to any surplus tigers currently being held in any such intensive breeding operations. 17

And of course, these would be in addition to the requirements within Notification 2012/054 that the Parties provide the CITES Secretariat with details of any “stockpiles of captive-bred or confiscated tiger body parts and derivatives” and also with details of “any actions proposed to deal with the stockpiles.” 18 If there is a good response to Notification 2012/054 it is hoped that a constructive and meaningful assessment of Parties’ implementation and compliance with Decision 14.69 can then be carried out within the full assessment of Asian Big Cats that is due to take place at CITES CoP16. 19 But how should those carrying out the assessment determine which captive bred tigers, outside of scientifically managed captive breeding programs, are contributing to the long-term conservation of the species in the wild? Drawing upon the 2010 article Why Keep Tigers in Zoos? by Sarah Christie of the Zoological Society of London, 20 it is submitted that (aside from personal positions on keeping tigers in captivity at all) minimal numbers of captive-bred tigers outside of scientifically managed breeding programs might conceivably contribute to the long-term conservation of the species in the wild if the legitimate zoos holding those tigers:


Supra note 6. Supra note 1. 19 Id. 20 SARAH CHRISTIE, Why Keep Tigers in Zoos? TIGERS OF THE WORLD: THE SCIENCE, POLITICS AND CONSERVATION OF PANTHERA TIGRIS (Philip J. Nyhus & Ron Tilson eds., 2nd ed., 2010). 18

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1. Did their best to ensure that they only kept pure bred tigers of known genetic lineage, regardless of the fact that their tigers would not be within any of the recognised scientifically managed programs; 2. Participated in the International Species Information System (ISIS) which is a computer-based information system detailing wild animal species in captivity; 3. Kept full records and details in respect of all of their tigers and also marked each of them using microchips and / or DNA profiling; 4. Kept independently verified records of all of the births and deaths of their tigers including full details in respect of the causes of deaths of their tigers, ideally with full, independent, veterinary post mortems carried out in respect of each of them; 5. Kept independently verified records confirming how each of their tigers was disposed of after death and independent veterinary post-mortem; 6. Had in place and complied with stringent professional standards in terms of governing the health and genetic management of their animals; 7. Provided enrichment for their tigers and maintained the utmost standards in terms of the husbandry and welfare of their animals; 8. Established and/or provided funding for projects in the field, with a view to helping to preserve the few remaining populations of wild tigers, for example through funding scientific research, paying for forest rangers within key areas of tiger habitat, paying for camera traps and / or funding campaigns aimed at reducing demand for products containing parts or derivatives of tigers; and

A Review of CITES Decision 14.69 on Restricting Captive Tiger Populations to Levels Supportive Only to Conserve Wild Tigers 101

9. Only displayed their tigers to the public in such a way as to not cause any stress to their animals and with the proviso that any such display of their animals to the public was done responsibly for education purposes and raising awareness of the plight of tigers in the wild. Nyhus estimated that, in 2010, the total number of captivebred tigers in captivity throughout the world, outside of the official scientifically managed breeding programs but within zoos that might conceivably fit within the parameters set out above to be 561. Nyhus references the zoos within the official breeding programs as Zoos managed as opposed to Zoos not managed. These included 196 in North America, an estimated 50 in China, 16 in Thailand, 6 in Cambodia, 2 in Vietnam and none in Lao PDR. 21 Of the 10,485 other captive-bred tigers that Nyhus estimated to be in captivity throughout the world in 2010, referred to as private meaning privately owned tigers, they estimated that 5,160 were in China; 4,428 were in North America, 775 were in Thailand, 50 were in Indonesia, 41 were in Vietnam, 17 in Cambodia, and 14 in Europe and Russia.22 These are the tigers that Decision 14.69 was passed to address and these are the tigers whose numbers should have gone down between 2010 and the dates of the Parties responses to Notification 2012/054. As Nyhus explained: The unmanaged tiger population is a different creature altogether. They are no longer Amur or Sumatran or Bengal tigers. They are tiger soup. It is improbable, and, in fact, undesirable that any will ever be released into the wild, despite the argument by some owners of Chinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tiger farms to the contrary, and thus they remain genetically indistinct large predators in cages with little or no value to the future of their kind. As

21 22

NYHUS, supra note 10. Id.

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tigers they have no worth, but for sellers of their parts they are worth a fortune. 23

Unfortunately, based on the status updates below (provided for relevant CITES Parties to whom Decision 14.69 is likely to apply) it seems the prospects are not good for a finding by CITES CoP16 in March 2013 that significant progress has been made by Parties in terms of implementation and compliance with Decision 14.69.

China In my 2011 article, that focused on China’s tiger farms and considered a number of instances in which China’s tiger farmers could give cause for China to be in breach of Decision 14.69 (as well as other provisions of CITES), has already highlighted the growth in China’s population of captive-bred tigers held in private tiger farms to nearly 6,000 with the potential to breed an additional thousand tigers every year.24 It also noted the indicative evidence that came to light suggesting that China may have opened up a limited domestic trade in the skins of tigers and other Asian big cat skins, with publication by China’s State Forestry Administration (SFA) of Notice #206 dated 29 September 2007. 25 Given the clear guideline definition that, in the opinion of the CITES Secretariat, trade in the context of Decision 14.69 may be regarded as referring to both domestic and international trade 26 this would represent a flagrant breach of Decision 14.69 by the Chinese government itself in addition to the likely contraventions caused by China’s tiger farmers. I do not propose to duplicate any of the content of my earlier article here; instead it is hoped that it will be sufficient to highlight the fact that, by late 2012, China had yet to provide clarification in relation to the content and provisions of SFA 23

Id. RICHARD HARGREAVES, China’s Tiger Farms Much Law but Little Justice, V JOURNAL OF THE WILDCAT CONSERVATION LEGAL AID SOCIETY (2011). 25 Id. 26 Supra note 6. 24

A Review of CITES Decision 14.69 on Restricting Captive Tiger Populations to Levels Supportive Only to Conserve Wild Tigers 103

Notification #206. And in particular, no explanation has been forthcoming from China about which tiger and other Asian big cat skins it considers to be of legal origin for the purposes of permitted sale pursuant to SFA Notification #206. Details about how China checks whether skins are of what it considers to be “legal origin” (as opposed to from poached wild tigers for example) have also not been forthcoming. Finally, China has not provided any details about the number of tiger and other Asian big cat skins that to-date have been registered, labeled and sold under this apparent domestic skin trade. 27 China however is not the only country that has seemingly failed to restrict its captive tiger population to a level supportive only to conserving wild tigers. And is not the only country that has seemingly failed to heed the wording of CITES Decision 14.69 that tigers should not be bred for trade in their parts and derivatives.

Thailand In an information document prepared by Thailand in readiness for CITES CoP15 (posted on the CITES website on 5 November 2009) Thailand confirmed that it had approximately 916 captive bred Asian big cats in captivity at that time based on updates from its zoos over the period from 2007 to 2009. 28 These consisted of 786 tigers, 116 leopards and 14 clouded leopards in a total of 23 public zoos, only four of which had been granted captive breeding permits in respect of Asian big cats (which were specified as being for those zoos’ business purposes only). The remaining 19 zoos were granted permits to possess Asian big cats only. 29


See ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY, Summary of EIA Recommendations to the 62nd Standing Committee, available at 28 See . 29 Id.

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In a similar document filed by Thailand in preparation for the 61st meeting of the CITES Standing Committee (SC61) in August 2011 (posted on the CITES website on 5 July 2011) Thailand confirmed that, at that point, they had approximately 1,008 captive bred Asian big cats in captivity based on updates from their zoos over the period from 2009 to 2011,30 consisting of 952 tigers, 53 leopards, and three clouded leopards, held in 27 public zoos. Thailand did not specify within their 2011 submission which of these 27 public zoos had breeding permits and which had permits to possess Asian big cats only. 31 Nyhus estimated in 2010 that Thailand had approximately 30 tigers in captivity that might conceivably contribute to the longterm conservation of tigers in the wild: 14 of known genetic lineage in a recognized scientifically managed breeding program and a further 16 in zoos that participated in the ISIS initiative. 32 The number of these non-contravention tigers would not have gone up dramatically from 30 when Nyhus wrote their article to when Thailand wrote their submission for SC61 in 2011. By contrast Thailandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s official number of captive-bred tigers (both contravention and non-contravention) did go up dramatically, from 786 in 2009 to 952 in 2011. The vast majority of the tigers involved in this increase would be exactly the tigers that Decision 14.69 was adopted to restrict and yet the dramatic increase in their number occurred throughout the precise period when the number of contravention tigers in Thailand ought to have gone down rather than up. The largest collection of contravention tigers in Thailand is based at the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo in Thailandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chonburi Province. In both of the aforementioned documents provided by Thailand to CITES, there were 424 captive-bred tigers quoted as being held at the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo. This was the figure provided in a 2009 update and subsequently was not updated for SC61. 33 30

See Id. 32 NYHUS, supra note 10. 33 Supra note 28 and 30. 31

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The Sri Racha Tiger Zoo has a history and notoriety surpassed only by the two largest tiger farms in China: the Breeding Center for Felidae at Hengdaohezi and the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain Village located on the outskirts of Guilin City. In June 2001, the Environmental Investigation Agency reported that: In 1995, Sri Racha Tiger Zoo was reported to be hoping for a change in the law to allow the sale of tigers for commercial purposes. At that time, there were 35 tigers at Sri Racha. Today [June 2001], in addition to the 50,000 crocodiles that are raised each year for commercial purposes, there are between 180 and 400 tigers held at the public zoo and a second facility that is closed to the public. Staff at the zoo claim that six females give birth every month and that around 300 cubs are born each year. If the latter is true, the numbers do not add up. Where have all Sri Racha’s tigers gone? 34

Shortly after the EIA report, it was discovered that 100 of Sri Racha’s tigers were transferred to a comparatively new tiger farm in China in 2002. Nowell and Ling explained that: 100 Tigers had been sent from the Sri Racha facility to China’s Sanya Love World theme park in Hainan. That move was widely criticized as a violation of the provisions of CITES, which prohibits commercial trade in Appendix I species. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra launched an investigation, and the investigation team, led by the National Intelligence Agency Director, found that the shipment had hidden commercial purposes. As a result, the head of Thailand’s CITES Management Authority lost his job. 35


See ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY, Thailand’s Tiger Economy, available at 35 Supra note 8.

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This illustrates a strange dichotomy in tiger conservation in Thailand. It tends to be comparatively good when it comes to law enforcement, seizures of tiger parts and derivatives and prosecution of those involved in the trade and yet it continues to allow tiger farms like Sri Racha to continue to operate in blatant breach of Decision 14.69. It appears that Thailand’s official figures, referenced above; do not provide the full picture either. The self-proclaimed infamous Tiger Temple in Thailand’s Kanchanaburi Province, states on its website that: As of 2007, over 21 cubs had been born at the temple, and the total number of tigers was about 12 adult tigers and 4 cubs. As of late March 2011, the total number of tigers living at the temple has risen to almost 90. 36

Interestingly, however, the Tiger Temple does not appear to be referenced in either of the aforementioned documents provided by Thailand to CITES. 37 In fact, only one establishment is mentioned in Kanchanaburi Province, referred to in both documents simply as Safari Park and Resort. 38 This could be a reference to the Tiger Temple but even if it is, Thailand’s official 2011 submission to CITES only refers to the Safari Park and Resort having 11 tigers at that time, 39 compared to the Tiger Temple’s own figures for same period of “almost 90.” 40 Whatever the facts of the matter, neither the Tiger Temple or the Safari Park and Resort were among the four zoos that Thailand confirmed in 2009 were granted Asian big cat breeding permits. 41 This would suggest that there is sufficient information on the Tiger Temple’s website at the time of writing for the Thailand authorities to find the Tiger Temple in breach of domestic law and if so, would put Thailand in potential breach of international law. 36

See Supra note 28 and 30. 38 Id. 39 Supra note 30. 40 Supra note 36. 41 Supra note 28. 37

A Review of CITES Decision 14.69 on Restricting Captive Tiger Populations to Levels Supportive Only to Conserve Wild Tigers 107

Yet, despite a recent surprise visit to the Tiger Temple, in September 2012, by the Director General of Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), following up on a report on the death of one of the Temple’s tigers, 42 nothing substantive appears to be being done to phase out this establishment. Any suggestion that the Tiger Temple may somehow be exempt from the need to have a licence under Thai domestic law to breed Tigers, on religious grounds, would also be unfounded. By contrast, sources indicate that the opposite is more likely to be the case owing to the Dalai Lama’s 2006 instruction that temples should not use, buy or sell wild animals. This means the Abbot of the Tiger Temple is potentially going against not only Thai domestic law but also his own religion with the Temple’s ongoing Tiger breeding program. Similarly, Safari World mentioned in Thailand’s 2009 submission to CITES as having 8 tigers, at the time of a 2008 update, was then mentioned in Thailand’s 2011 submission to CITES as having 124 tigers just two years later, at the time of a 2010 update. Again, this was not one of the four establishments that Thailand granted Asian big cat breeding permits to at the time of preparing their 2009 submission to CITES.43 Given that the elephants at Safari World are trained to do tightrope walking displays and the orang-utans are trained to do kickboxing displays, 44 it seems highly unlikely that Safari World’s tigers are going to contribute to the long-term conservation of tigers in the wild. They are contravention tigers that Thailand, despite its laudable efforts concerning tiger parts and derivatives in trade, is allowing to grow in number rather than restricting it as required by international law.


See 43 Supra notes 28 and 30. 44 See

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It can only be hoped that any response by Thailand to Notification 2012/054 will include a strategic plan that incorporates deadlines for phasing-out tiger collections at the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, Tiger Temple, Safari World and others that are currently in contravention of CITES Decision 14.609.

Vietnam, Lao PDR and Cambodia In March 2010, the Vietnamese non-governmental organization, Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV), published an interim report highlighting some of the key findings of their investigation into the links between tiger farming and the illegal tiger trade. ENV explained that: Tiger farming in Vietnam began to develop over the last five to ten years, most likely in response to rising demand for tiger bone TM and a steady decline in the availability of tigers sourced from the wild as native populations continued to decline in Vietnam and neighbouring countries. Vietnamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tiger farmers purchased or received most of their original founder tigers mainly from illegal sources, including animals smuggled into Vietnam from Cambodia or elsewhere, or possibly traded amongst some of the more successful early tiger breeders in the south. Today, there are seven registered private establishments keeping a total of 84 live tigers in captivity. If state zoos and rescue centers are included, the number of captive tigers totals 101 individuals, including five Siberian or Bengal tigers. Four farms are located in the south, one in the central region, and two in the north. 45


See EDUCATION FOR NATURE: VIETNAM, Summary of Tiger Trade Investigation Findings Vietnam 2010, available at y%20(ENfinal;%2013%20March%202010).pdf

A Review of CITES Decision 14.69 on Restricting Captive Tiger Populations to Levels Supportive Only to Conserve Wild Tigers 109

ENV went on to advise that: Irregularities in tiger farmers’ reports to provincial authorities and generally ineffective monitoring of farms leaves open the possibility that these farmers, many of which obtained their original tigers illegally, continue to engage in illegal trade of tigers. Indeed, the results of our review of six of seven registered farms implicated three establishments in direct crimes, and led investigators to suspect that some establishments may be involved in illegal activities based on irregularities in their accounting for births and deaths of tigers at their farms. 46

ENV ascertained that many of the tiger parts and derivatives seized in trade in Vietnam appeared “to have been sourced from major tiger farming operations in Laos,” and in referencing tiger farms in Cambodia, they confirmed that “Cambodia was named as another source of tigers smuggled into Vietnam.” 47 The existence of tiger farms in Lao PDR has been corroborated. In a report produced to coincide with CITES SC62 in July 2012, Kristin Nowell confirmed that: In 2010, Vietnamese journalists gained access to a large tiger (and other exotic animal) breeding farm near Thakhek, Laos, not far from the Vietnamese border. The well-guarded facility is owned in part by Vietnamese nationals, and one owner told the journalists that their main business was delivering tiger carcasses to Viet Nam for making tiger bone medicine. 48

Other evidence was recently made available that clearly indicates that the tiger farming situation in the area is far more convoluted than initially realised. In addition to the known and 46

Id. Id. 48 KRISTIN NOWELL, Wildlife Crime Scorecard—Assessing Compliance with and Enforcement of CITES Commitments for tigers, rhinos and elephants, WWF (2012). 47

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officially recognised farms in Vietnam, it appears that tigers are also being bred and kept in the attics and basements of rural amateur tiger farmers in Vietnam almost certainly for trade in their parts and derivatives. In October 2012, Vietnam’s Tuio Tre newspaper reported on the findings of an investigation by their journalists into this issue, explaining that: Over the past decade, several villages in Do Thanh commune in central Vietnam’s Nghe An province have become thrilling markets for trading tiger parts. (…) While pretending to be a hunter for tiger bone paste, a Tuoi Tre undercover journalist met Mr. T, a tiger farmer in Do Thanh commune’s Vach Bac hamlet, through the recommendation of a bus driver who said: “T. can draw a diagram of all tiger farms in the area.” 49

During their meeting Mr. T explained the economics of this type of tiger farming to Tuio Tre’s journalist: A pair of tiger cubs weighing from 3-4 kilograms each is offered for sale from VND350 million ($16,800) to VND370 million ($17,762) (transportation costs included) in Thailand or Laos, T said. After one year in captivity, the pair can weigh 200 kilograms in total. Since each kilogram of tiger fetches VND50 million ($2,400) on the black market, farmers can earn a profit of VND600 million ($28,804) after deducting food expenses (roughly VND400 million ($19,203)), he continued. 50

With regard to conditions “(…) T revealed that tigers are kept in solid wire cages built in basements or attics at private houses, with each cage covering from 15 to 20m2.” 51 49

See 50 Id. 51 Id.

A Review of CITES Decision 14.69 on Restricting Captive Tiger Populations to Levels Supportive Only to Conserve Wild Tigers 111

This is clearly a very concerning development not least because, as Tuio Tre reported, the Vietnamese authorities were largely unaware of the existence of these rural village bred tigers. Given that most are apparently secluded behind closed doors in private properties this is perhaps unsurprising. Notwithstanding this, however, the wording of Decision 14.69 is clear. As a Party to CITES, it is clear that Vietnam is required to implement measures to restrict the population of its captive bred tigers to a level supportive only to conserving tigers in the wild. These village bred tigers, bred for the sole purpose of supplying demand for products containing tiger parts and derivatives, do the exact opposite of helping to conserve tigers in the wild. Vietnam is required under CITES to implement measures to restrict their number and failure to implement such measures would constitute a further breach of Decision 14.69 by Vietnam. As Nguyen Trong Thuc (Chief of the Forest Management Unit in Yen Thanh) cautioned, however, “[this] illegal [tiger] farming will only be uncovered if local police and environment and economic police from the provincial public security department work together.” 52 This will be difficult, though not impossible, work. It is submitted, however, that this work will not be assisted should a recent proposal from within the Vietnamese government, to open up a limited domestic trade in tiger parts, be approved. As Kristin Nowell explained: In 2007, Viet Nam permitted the establishment of ‘pilot breeding farms’ for tigers, and in a 2012 report to the Prime Minister, the Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development (the CITES Management Authority) described three facilities and proposed that “dead tigers [from captive facilities] can be used to make specimens and traditional medicine on a pilot basis”. A letter from conservation NGOs based in Viet Nam has urged the Prime Minister to reject the proposal, as it will undermine enforcement, Viet Nam’s commitment to reduce demand for tiger



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products in the Global Tiger Recovery Programme, and its responsibilities under CITES. 53

If approved, this proposal would constitute Vietnamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most blatant breach to date of Decision 14.69.

United States of America Inclusion of the United States (U.S.) in this review may seem a little unusual as captive-bred tigers in the U.S. tend to be bred for sale to entertainers and/or private owners rather than for trade in and consumption of products containing their parts and derivatives. It is not suggested that the U.S. is in breach of the second part of Decision 14.69 (i.e. that tigers should not be bred for trade in their parts and derivatives). It is, however, submitted that, by failing to implement measures to restrict the population of its captive-bred tigers to a level supportive only to conserving wild tigers, the U.S. is also seemingly in breach of the first part of Decision 14.69 since it was adopted in 2007. It could be argued that Decision 14.69 does not apply to the U.S. on the basis that it does not have any â&#x20AC;&#x153;intensive operations breeding tigers on a commercial scale.â&#x20AC;? Looking at the guideline definitions provided by the CITES Secretariat in Notification 2008/059, however, it would soon be realised that such an argument would not be valid. It is submitted that the business of a tiger breeder in the U.S., who breeds tigers for commercial sale to private owners for profit, would be an intensive operation breeding tigers on a commercial scale in much the same way as an Asian tiger farm would be. Nyhus estimated in 2010 that there were 267 captive-bred tigers of known genetic lineage within scientifically managed programs in North America. In addition they estimated that there were a further 196 captive-bred tigers within North American zoos that participated in ISIS. By contrast, by far the largest figure for captive-bred tigers in North America quoted by Nyhus is the 4,428 that they estimated were kept in private ownership at 53

Supra note 48.

A Review of CITES Decision 14.69 on Restricting Captive Tiger Populations to Levels Supportive Only to Conserve Wild Tigers 113

that time. Of these, Tammy Quist Thies estimated that approximately 400 were being homed in legitimate big cat sanctuaries. 54 As the owner of one of these sanctuaries, Thies advised that in the U.S.: Tigers are easily acquired on the internet as well as from newspaper ads. They are bred in backyards similar to puppy mills in crowded and filthy conditions. Usually, they are housed in corn cribs with barely enough space to turn around. Buyers range from the animal lover who believes that they have rescued the tiger from a cruel environment, to egotistical humans who believe pet tigers are a status symbol. 55

Whilst these backyard tigers may not be fuelling demand for products containing tiger parts and derivatives they make no contribution to the long-term conservation of tigers in the wild. Under the circumstances, the U.S. ought to have implemented measures to restrict their numbers after Decision 14.69 was adopted in 2007. The above submission of the U.S.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; continuing breach of Decision 14.69 is based on the fact that there appears to be no evidence to suggest that it has implemented any such measures. This does pose a legitimate risk because, as Douglas Williamson and Leigh Henry pointed out in July 2008: Unfortunately, U.S. laws and regulations governing the keeping of these Tigers are not currently adequate to foreclose the possibility that parts or derivatives from these animals could enter illegal trade. 56


TAMMY QUIST THIES, History and Function of US Sanctuaries, TIGERS OF THE WORLD: THE SCIENCE, POLITICS AND CONSERVATION OF PANTHERA TIGRIS (Philip J. Nyhus & Ron Tilson eds., 2nd ed., 2010). 55 Id. 56 DOUGLAS F. WILLIAMSON & LEIGH A. HENRY, Paper Tigers? The Role of the U.S. Captive Tiger Population in the Trade in Tiger Parts, TRAFFIC (2008).

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Conclusion It is possible for the Parties to CITES to be in breach of Decision 14.69 in two ways: 1. By having intensive operations breeding tigers on a commercial scale and failing to implement measures to restrict their countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population of captive-bred tigers to a level supportive only to conserving wild tigers; and/or 2. By breeding tigers for trade in their parts and derivatives. It is submitted that, based on the analysis in my 2011 article, 57 and the analysis set out above, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Lao PDR and, in all likelihood, Cambodia have been and are in breach of both parts of Decision 14.69 since Decision 14.69 was first adopted in 2007. This is supported by the fact that a search of the CITES trade database confirms seizure by other CITES Parties of attempted exports of tiger parts and derivatives from all of the above countries throughout the period from 2008 to 2011 inclusive. In addition, it is submitted that the U.S. has also been and is in breach of the first part of Decision 14.69, again since the Decision was adopted. Under the circumstances it can only be hoped that the above Partiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; responses to Notification 2012/054, that should have been submitted to the CITES Secretariat by 25 September 2012, provide substantive detail about what actions they have taken and will intend to take to address their respective breaches of Decision 14.69. If not, it will remain to be seen whether CITES CoP16 decides to take stern action in March 2013 with a view to compelling compliance.


HARGRAVES, supra note 24.



Journal of the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, Winter 2012, Vol. VI  

Journal of the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, Winter 2012, Vol. VI "The Politico/Econom of Being Wild"

Journal of the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, Winter 2012, Vol. VI  

Journal of the WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society, Winter 2012, Vol. VI "The Politico/Econom of Being Wild"